chapter  3
Art as Revelation: The Revelation of Art
Pages 35

Pallavicino’s epistemological take on the imitative arts defines the truthclaims of artistic expression. Our author distinguishes two mimetic registers, one concerned with poetic invention, the other with history. In neither case, however, is art concerned with the replication of reality. This distinction renders moot the tenacious conflation of art and life that occurs in art literature, be it concerned with religious art, civic art, or with a particular artist. As a result, two opposing conceptions of art emerge, one stressing its emotive effect regardless of art’s truthfulness, the other focusing on the lifegiving powers of the artist. This raises the question of which truths Pallavicino thinks art is still capable of expressing. Which notions or ideas benefit from imitation’s separation from truth and which are excluded?