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“Nel conoscere le cose tutte della natura”

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Nicolò Simonelli and the Musaeum of Flavio Chigi

image of Nuncius

The cardinal nephew, Flavio Chigi (1631–1693), is known for his very special collection of natural as well as artistic objects from abroad. A portrait of the man, who was in charge of the Chigi-collection, the connoisseur Nicolò Simonelli, shows him among the key pieces staged on a table, while underneath pieces of antique sculpture are stored in a strange way. The antagonism of the Priapus statue on display on the one hand and the pieces of antique statues placed underneath the table on the other bring monstrous aspects of the antique to light while the beau-idéal often identified with antique sculpture seems to be no longer a matter of question. The arrangement of these objects allows moreover a reflection on different modes of generation/creation known at the time. The paper emphasizes the aesthetic aspects of the vis plastica of nature.

Affiliations: 1: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz


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