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Florentine Art: A Hierarchy of Ideal

Florentine Art: A Hierarchy of Ideal
by Paige Lunde, 1st year IDSVA student

Walking through the lively streets of Florence for the first time, I realized the power of the image to form experience. The city is pulsing from the center; the structure of it evokes a central identity, the apex of culture. The art of Florence reinforces the idea that society is driven by desire – the desire for dominance. That is, the art captures clearly what I’ve been thinking – art can visually encompass an ideal. It lives as part of the landscape, a habit of vision. Bergson suggests that habits keep us from perception – they de-sensitize us. In the case of the Florentines, I see the opposite. The ruling class appropriated the Greek ideal of man to over-sensitize the public to a standard that would inspire with beauty and control through desire for the unattainable.