ABSTRACT

Music, like painting, lost in the process its mathematical infrastructure: the absence of a multi-layered texture precluded the complex play of proportions that had given Medieval and Renaissance music its lofty status as a liberal art. A yet more complicated issue is the respective relation of the Nuova musica and Caravaggio's art to mimesis. Titian's artistic testament, and the work in which this deconstruction reaches its climax, is The Flaying of Marsyas, a painting created in the last years of the artist's life, between 1570 and his death six years later, and left, according to some art historians, unfinished. While music has fallen silent, painting is not extinguished completely, but it renounces its dreams of colour and harmony in favour of an aesthetics reminiscent of silence or rather of dissonance, the other afore-mentioned protagonist of the musical revolution that was just around the corner when Titian created this work.