mercredi, avril 13, 2005


Brief Note

Michaelangelo through his artistic works has been more influential to the definition of rationality in the West than many Scientists and Philosophers. There would be no Cartesian mentality today were it not the concept of art and true erudition that Classical Artists and Writers imposed on the West. It is from this main frame, where beauty, ethics and knowledge are perhaps one thing in principle, governed by reason, that Descartes and Analytic Philosophers constructed their works.

Everything about Michaelangelo is always news. Recently a portrait of Michaelangelo by Da Vinci has been discovered. It has also been said that the famous Laocoon sculpture, which had been considered one the greatest archaelogical finds of all times, has actually been faked by Michaelangelo.

But for me, Michaelangelo's biggest influence was a subversion of concepts through his David's statue. This is one case in which the name of the masterpiece is not simply a label to the work, but adds something to its meaning. What we see when we look at the sculpture is clearly a statue of the Greek-Roman numen Apollo, but the name of the statue changes the denotatum. This is a master-piece of deification of a common man in a Museum: David, the small guy who became a hero defeating a giant suddenly also becomes an Olympian Deity, embodying an ideal of virility. Michaelangelo's work is subversive in this sense: he borrows one legend from monotheism to read it from a polytheist perspective.