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H Niyazi

Very interesting review! Of course, I am not suprised that in considering the compromises between history and the interpretation that artists were required to make, that Huxley has firmly ventured into psychosocial territory - examining them as a perpetual set of internal vs external dynamics.

It is sadly true that you have to go out of traditional Renaissance studies to get this type of discourse. This is why it was so refreshing to see Hall employ Formalist concepts in her newest title.

To counter Nietzsche slightly though, not all Renaissance art was idealised and serene. Most of Michelangelo's figures seem an agonised bunch at most times, and Botticelli's Panels illustrating scenes from the Decameron were quite gruesome. Maybe the surly Nietzsche did not see these in his time?


David Packwood

I guess it is a pyschosocial approach that Huxley takes here. I see it as compensation for not being able to do a statistical analysis of happiness in the renaissance, because nobody knows how they really felt. Huxley does mention Bentham on a few occasions.

I think Nietzsche was mainly thinking of Raphael, not Michelangelo. Raphael's, calm, "happy", serene images he associated with the Apollonian; Michelangelo would most likely have been Dionysian in his scheme. I'd have to check the "Birth of Tragedy" to see what renaissance artists N mentions.

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