Art as imitatio Dei
DOI link for Art as imitatio Dei
Art as imitatio Dei book
The imitation of nature was restricted in visual arts and became damnable in theatre when militant Calvinists placed the fight against idolatry on their banner. However, the idea that natural phenomena should be imitated for the benefit of man underpinned the exploration in the field of natural philosophy, as Francis Bacon emphasized in the Novum Organum. Before embarking on art as imitatio Dei, it may be useful to remember that in early modernity the notion of art encompassed any kind of skill or craft, from the humblest to the most refined and intellectually challenging, as its etymon hints at human production in general. Imitating God meant for Dr Dee both controlling the visible and the invisible and participating in the divine creativity. Works of art remain uncorrupted as long as they are preserved by the power of nature: for instance, how long a statue lasts depends on the natural solidity of the stone or bronze.