Artibus et Historiae no. 11 (VI)

1985, ISSN 0391-9064

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DIETER WUTTKE - The Integrating Power of Humanism. The Philosophy of Conrad Celtis, the German Humanist par excellence. An Iconological Study of Dürer's and Burgkmair's Engravings

Interpretations are given for the Philosophia woodcut made by Dürer for the Amores (Nuremberg 1502) of Conrad Celtis and the single-leaf Imperial Eagle woodcut made by Burgkmair (1506-7) in collaboration with Celtis. Solutions are proposed to some iconographic riddles in connections with woodcuts, for example the Greek letters in the Philosophia and the judgment of Paris in the Imperial Eagle. The sources are discussed with respect to form and content and an attempt is made to show that they represent the essence of German humanism about 1500. This kind of humanism aims at encyclopedic education, at the integration of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance or, in other words, of the best of knowledge of all time and does not separate the humanities from mathematics and science. Humanism meant - at that time - much more than that and is not identical with the so-called studio humanitatis program (grammar, rhetoric poetry, history, and moral philosophy). It favors more Platonico Pythagoraicoque kind of experience in the various fields of study.

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