Artibus et Historiae no. 44 (XXII)

2001, ISSN 0391-9064

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JOSEPH MANCA - Moral Stance in Italian Renaissance Art: Image, Text, and Meaning

This essay analyzes the use by Renaissance artists of firm posture, gravity, and solid contrapposto to convey a sense of moral worth and dignity. We must rely on visual evidence to demonstrate the idea that the artists intended stance to have an ethical meaning, although the idea is also supported by a few written texts of the period. Observers have often overlooked the moral significance of stance, giving attention instead to the naturalism and aesthetic effects of counterpoise and weighty stance.

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