Evening lecture

Lorenzo Pericolo: Beyond Perfection: Guido Reni and Malvasia's Fourth Age of Painting

In his life of Guido Reni (published in 1678), Carlo Cesare Malvasia stresses the role of Guido in the emergence of the new "maniera moderna." After reaching its apogee of perfection with the work of the three Carracci, especially of Ludovico, painting evolves toward a new epoch, the so-called "fourth age of painting." In Malvasia's view, Guido was both a protagonist and, to a great extent, a creator of a new "modernity." In defining what comes after perfection, Malvasia struggles with the construction and definition of a new paradigm of artistic excellence only partially embodied by Guido's work. But how can perfection generate new forms of artistic perfection without repeating itself? And if perfection in the "fourth age of painting" is unattaible by definition, what forms of partial perfection can subsequently be developed by artists? In Malvasia's words, Guido's painting is marked by "nobility" ("nobiltà") and "celestial ideas" ("idee celesti"); his craftsmanship is a heavenly one ("un fare di paradiso"). But what exactly is Guido's "divine manner"? What is the role of "sweetness" ("dolcezza"), "softness" ("soavità"), and "delicacy" ("delicatezza") in Malvasia's interpretation of Guido's painting?

   

Lorenzo Pericolo is Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Warwick. He studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, and the École pratique des Hautes Études en Sciences Historiques et Philologiques, Sorbonne, Paris. Among his books: Caravaggio and Pictorial Narrative: Dislocating the Istoria in Early Modern Painting (2011); Subject as Aporia in Early Modern Art (co-edited with Alexander Nagel, 2010); Remembering the Middle Ages in Early Modern Italy (co-edited with Jessica N. Richardson). He is working on Volume Nine (Life of Guido Reni) of Malvasia's Felsina pittrice: Lives of the Bolognese Painters (co-edited with Elizabeth Cropper).

November 10, 2015, 6:00pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
Max-Planck-Institut

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze

Newsletter

Our Newsletter provides you with free information on events, tenders, exhibitions and recent publications from the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please enter your name and e-mail address:

*required field

Notes on the content of the newsletter and transit procedures

This letter is sent via MailChimp, where your e-mail address and name will be saved for sending the newsletter.

Once you have completed the form, you will receive a "Double-Opt-In-E-Mail," in which you are asked to confirm your registration. You can cancel your subscription to the Newsletter at any time ("Opt-out"). You will find an unsubscribe link in every Newsletter and in the Double-Opt-in-E-Mail.

You will receive detailed information about transit procedures and your withdrawal options in our privacy policy.