The Milanese artist Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo (1538–1592) is better known for his writings on art than for his pictorial activity. After being struck by an unidentified eye disease at the age of thirty-three, he was forced to give up his trade and he dedicated most of his later life to collecting material for his books on the art of painting. In his writings, Lomazzo draws on notions from different spheres of knowledge (ancient literature, contemporary optical theories, recipes for pigments among others) in order to build up his complex system of painting. This article focuses on one underestimated aspect of Lomazzo’s interests, which I believe is worth investigating further: alchemy. There are some intriguing hints at alchimia in the artist's writings, which suggest that, though later critics claimed he was ‘not interested in the subject’, he had definite opinions about the theory and practice of it, as well as on its practitioners.

La Falsa Alchimia de la Quale Tanta Stima già ne Feci: Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo’s opinion on alchemy

Tramelli B.
2020

Abstract

The Milanese artist Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo (1538–1592) is better known for his writings on art than for his pictorial activity. After being struck by an unidentified eye disease at the age of thirty-three, he was forced to give up his trade and he dedicated most of his later life to collecting material for his books on the art of painting. In his writings, Lomazzo draws on notions from different spheres of knowledge (ancient literature, contemporary optical theories, recipes for pigments among others) in order to build up his complex system of painting. This article focuses on one underestimated aspect of Lomazzo’s interests, which I believe is worth investigating further: alchemy. There are some intriguing hints at alchimia in the artist's writings, which suggest that, though later critics claimed he was ‘not interested in the subject’, he had definite opinions about the theory and practice of it, as well as on its practitioners.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3740195
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