Introduction: Art Theory in Bernini’s Rome
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This chapter discusses Pallavicino's view on the revelatory capacity of the concetto and particularly antithesis. It examines how compositeness and variety define the relation between the creation, form and effect of art works. As its name indicates, the composto implies compositeness, if not of a diversity of objects or ideas, then certainly of different media. In the Trattato dello stile, Pallavicino distinguishes the antithesis of things concepts and objects and words. By explaining the successful effect of the Baldacchino in terms of legitimate artistic innovation, Domenico harks back to exactly the same discussions on style and novelty that informed Pallavicino's Trattato dello stile. Indeed, Domenico's characterization of Bernini's creativity puts designing the Baldacchino on a par with acting in their presence and producing their effigy, the simulacrum of their composite beings. Bernini's son aims to emphasize that the Baldacchino has emerged as a composition of various elements. Its compositeness produces an ineffable effect, much like a linguistic composition.