Leonardo da Vinci's Paragone is often taken as the first significant testimony of the newly acquired status of the Renaissance artist in society. It is not clear, however, how much input (if any) Leonardo had in its composition. It seems, in fact, that the work was largely compiled from Leonardo's notes by his pupil Francesco Melzi soon after his death. For this reason, a number of scholars have been reluctant to take it as fully representative of Leonardo's achievements and opinions. By looking at the relationship between the text and the extant originals, as well as the interrelations between medical concepts and Leonardo's anatomical studies around 1480-1485, this paper seeks to show that both the rhetorico-dialectical argumentation of the Paragone and its contents reflect to a high degree Leonardo's interests and opinions at the time. In exploring the interconnections between rhetoric and medicine as they emerge in the Paragone, this paper argues that its rhetorical and dialogical modes of argumentation (particularly exempla, accumulation and syllogism) rest on medical and philosophical principles belonging both to a rhetorical and a medical tradition that were common currency in Milan during Leonardo's early sojourn in the city. © 2005 The Society for Renaissance Studies, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

In praise of art: Text and context of Leonardo's Paragone and its critique of the arts and sciences

Azzolini, Monica
2005

Abstract

Leonardo da Vinci's Paragone is often taken as the first significant testimony of the newly acquired status of the Renaissance artist in society. It is not clear, however, how much input (if any) Leonardo had in its composition. It seems, in fact, that the work was largely compiled from Leonardo's notes by his pupil Francesco Melzi soon after his death. For this reason, a number of scholars have been reluctant to take it as fully representative of Leonardo's achievements and opinions. By looking at the relationship between the text and the extant originals, as well as the interrelations between medical concepts and Leonardo's anatomical studies around 1480-1485, this paper seeks to show that both the rhetorico-dialectical argumentation of the Paragone and its contents reflect to a high degree Leonardo's interests and opinions at the time. In exploring the interconnections between rhetoric and medicine as they emerge in the Paragone, this paper argues that its rhetorical and dialogical modes of argumentation (particularly exempla, accumulation and syllogism) rest on medical and philosophical principles belonging both to a rhetorical and a medical tradition that were common currency in Milan during Leonardo's early sojourn in the city. © 2005 The Society for Renaissance Studies, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/626067
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