An Allegory of Artes Liberales and Artes Mechanicaes by Gaspare Diziani


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The refined and elegant representation of an attractive theme, by an important Venetian rococo painter.

An Allegory of Artes Liberales and Artes Mechanicaes by Gaspare Diziani.


Belluno 1689 – Venise 1767

An Allegory of Artes Liberales and Artes Mechanicaes

Signed gasp. Diziani inv. et fecit lower left.

Pen and black ink, grey wash, double framing line with pen and black ink and pen and brown ink.

115 x 204 mm – 4,53 x 8,03 in.

Under the moonlight, a man and a woman are surrounded by various attributes of artes liberales and artes mechanicaes. The intellectual and abstract disciplines of the artes liberales – grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music – are synthesized by the books, the compass, the musical instruments and the globe. Artes mechanicaes, useful and technical skills such as painting, architecture, sculpture, but also agriculture and war, are represented by the painter’s palette, the sculpted bust, architectural plans, the canon and the horse.

By reviving this concept of art division which was theorized during the Middle-Age, the artist does not seek to display an extensive list of each attribute of both categories, but tries to unify them into a single vision of human genius. Thus, this elegant allegory – seemingly frivolous and decorative – expresses the universal and inclusive perception of the arts which was central to the European Enlightenment and which was finally clearly enunciated in the Encyclopaedia published by Diderot and d’Alembert.

Condition report – Very good condition. Minor foxing on the surface.