Alberti: Is a picture worth a 1000 words?
Shan Shan will be our leader for this article however, I don’t seem to be able to stay out of the water! Here are a few queries:
1. Alberti’s treatise On Painting was one of the most influential works of the Renaissance. He imbues the art of painting with amazing powers of persuasion….but can the rhetoric of painting hold its own against that of speech?
2. Why does Alberti use descriptions of ancient paintings to describe the power of art and particularly the historia? Just because this is the Renaissance…..
3. Does it necessarily follow that if words are the domain of the invisible, that painting is the realm of the visible? In other words, do you agree with the author’s position regarding Alberti’s “protesting too much” about the exclusivity of these two worlds?
4. What are Alberti’s expectations of his audience? Do you feel that he requires too much of the viewer?
5. Apelles’ Calumny intersected with both his and Alberti’s personal history. Do you think this influenced Alberti’s use of this work as a vehicle to explain the principles of painting in his treatise?
6. What does Marin wish to underscore in suggesting that historical painting erases the deictic circumstances of discourse—or the distinction between the painter and the beholder? What is Alberti’s position as the voice behind the curtain?
7. Is the intervention of words always necessary to save images from themselves?