1st Edition

Iconology, Neoplatonism, and the Arts in the Renaissance

Edited By Berthold Hub, Sergius Kodera Copyright 2021
    246 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The mid-twentieth century saw a change in paradigms of art history: iconology. The main claim of this novel trend in art history was that renowned Renaissance artists (such as Botticelli, Leonardo, or Michelangelo) created imaginative syntheses between their art and contemporary cosmology, philosophy, theology, and magic.

    The Neoplatonism in the books by Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola became widely acknowledged for its lasting influence on art. It thus became common knowledge that Renaissance artists were not exclusively concerned with problems intrinsic to their work but that their artifacts encompassed a much larger intellectual and cultural horizon. This volume brings together historians concerned with the history of their own discipline – and also those whose research is on the art and culture of the Italian Renaissance itself – with historians from a wide variety of specialist fields, in order to engage with the contested field of iconology.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, Renaissance history, Renaissance studies, historiography, philosophy, theology, gender studies, and literature.


    Sergius Kodera

    1. Erwin Panofsky’s Idea (1924)

    Andreas Thielemann

    2. "My Friend Ficino". Art History and Neoplatonism: From Intellectual Beauty to Material Beauty

    Stéphane Toussaint

    3. Seeing and the Unseen: Marsilio Ficino and the Visual Arts

    Valery Rees

    4. Negotiating Neoplatonic Image Theory: The Production of Mental Images in Marsilio Ficino and Giovan Battista della Porta’s Magic Lamps

    Sergius Kodera

    5. In Quest of Beauty: Gender Trouble in the Orlando Furioso

    Marlen Bidwell-Steiner

    6. Neoplatonism and Biography: Michelangelo's Ganymede before and after Tommaso do' Cavalieri

    Berthold Hub

    7. Botticelli’s Primavera and Contemporary Commentaries

    Angela Dressen

    8. "HIC EST HOMO PLATONIS": Two Embodiments of Platonic Concepts of Man in Renaissance Art

    Jeanette Kohl

    9. Iconology as a Spiritual Exercise: The compositio loci in Ignatius of Loyola

    Paul Richard Blum

    10. Neither Drunk nor Sober: Dionysiac Inspiration and Renaissance Artistic Practices

    Francois Quiviger

    Appendix: Twilight of the Gods for Neoplatonism (1986/1992)

    Horst Bredekamp


    Berthold Hub is Lecturer at the University of Vienna and visiting professor at the Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin.

    Sergius Kodera is Senior Researcher at the New Design University St. Pölten and external reader in Philosophy at the University of Vienna.