Arianna Brunori

«Drawing forth the Form from the Potency of Matter». Dante and Michelangelo in Benedetto Varchi’s Reading

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Moving from a Carlo Ginzburg’s contribution which points out the closeness in Dante’s universe between artistic and natural reproduction – i.e. between representation and generation –, in my article I argue that some passages from the Convivio relating to this point may have contributed to inspire, if not Michelangelo’s sonnet Non ha l’ottimo artista, the reading that Benedetto Varchi provided of it, and, secondly, how Michelangelo’s conception of the artistic process may have suggested to Varchi a reasoning on the nobility of counterfeiting similar to that already elaborated by Benvenuto da Imola in his commentary on Inferno 29.


  • Dante
  • Michelangelo
  • Varchi
  • Reproduction
  • Alchemy
  • Mimesis


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