Post Platonism: Rethinking the Relations of Art, Love and Desire, 1500-1767

Free Public Lecture

Post Platonism: Rethinking the Relations of Art, Love and Desire, 1500-1767

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Lecture Theatre B101
Arts West Building

Professor's Walk, Parkville

Further Details

T: (03) 8344 1521

jacksonb@unimelb.edu.au

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Faculty of Arts

Art & Love explores the "erotic revolution" that swept through aesthetic theory and artistic practice in the sixteenth century. Early modern "sex-positive" polemic denounced the false shame that devalues physical, sexual love, and targeted neo-Platonism, with its fierce rejection of corporeal sexuality and bodily sensation.

Professor James Grantham Turner traces the evolution of interpretations of Platonic Eros, expressed through important semantic changes in words like "lascivious" and "libido", suddenly used in a positive sense during this period. Platonic anticorporeality was absolutely rejected; but elements of the Platonic image of a graduated ascent, rising up on a ladder by a series of "steps" to attain the highest form of Love, were retained, and even amplified.

Professor James Grantham Turner holds the James D. Hart Chair in English at the University of California, Berkeley

Image Credit - 'Turner on ladder in the Tribuna of the Uffizi, Florence", Martha Pollack

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