THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GREEK ART. OVERVIEW Alternative views to Plato in Rep. 10 Poets, philosophers,...
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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GREEK ART Slide 2 OVERVIEW Alternative views to Plato in Rep. 10 Poets, philosophers, sophists, et al. on art Greek art in context Art and the viewer Art and text in combination to produce effect Emotions, politics, erotics of Greek art Psychological power Art as rhetoric Platos bugbears? Slide 3 PLATONIC AESTHETICS I Inseparable from Education Ontology Epistemology Psychology Ethics & Justice Politics Issues addressed elsewhere in Republic Plato addresses legacy of poets: Homer, Hesiod, et al. His intellectual precursors Poets seen as teachers of religion, ethics, law Slide 4 REPUBLIC 10: Critique of Mimetic Painting & Poetry Mimesis now rejected Psychology, epistemology, education Theory of Forms Outlined in books 4-9 of Rep. Painting used as extensive analogy for mimetic poetry Both media subject to Platos Ontology Epistemology Psychology Ethics & Justice Slide 5 REPUBLIC 10 (595-603): On Painting & Poetry Ontology Painting = mimesis phantasmatos Imitation of an appearance Couch example and invocation of Forms Epistemology Painters and poets = ignorant, so, too, their public 3 removes from truth User/maker/imitator argument Psychology Painting plays havoc with our senses Seductive, erotic, magical language used Epithumetikon vs Logistikon Slide 6 REPUBLIC 10 (603-607): On Epic Poetry & Tragedy Epistemology Homer is no general No victories recorded How reliable a source for war??? Psychology Meter, harmony, music beguiles us Seductive, erotic, magical language used (cf. painting) Grief: tragedy, etc. panders to irrational, emotive elements in us Slide 7 REPUBLIC 10 (605c-607): The Greatest Charge It corrupts the best of us (cf. painting) NB its emotive power pleasure in sympathising with sufferings of others People assimilate Homeric tragic characters behaviour to own lives the more you indulge these emotions, the more you encourage them Poets destabilise our psychological order Justice = Psychological order Mimetic poets to be banned (!) Slide 8 SOME RESPONSES Plato assumes depiction = endorsement does not allow for critical distance of poet and audience Achilles presented as problematic figure in first 2 lines of Iliad Plato does not allow for psychological complexity demands simple didactic message how reasonable is this? Plato ignores moments in Homer of heroic restraint of emotion: Achilles and Priam again Plato very selective in critique Slide 9 SOME OTHER ANCIENT VIEWS Poetry a source of pleasure in and of itself: Homer, Hesiod Gorgias the orator and Sophist (c. 480-375 BC) intense emotional power of poetry and artworks not necessarily bad (Encomium of Helen) on cleverness of audience (B23) recognition of artistic fiction tragedy involves deceit, cleverness and justice! Platonic objections turned on their head! Cf. Dissoi Logoi on painting and tragedy Slide 10 SOME OTHER ANCIENT VIEWS Aeschines and Isocrates (orators, active c. 410-350 BC) provide opposite evidence to Plato people do not assimilate tragic emotions in their own lives recognise artistic fictions and emotions Democritus of Abdera (c. 465-380 BC) other peoples sufferings can make us count our blessings and help poet composes very beautifully under inspiration: enthousiasmos Homer has a divine nature & designs a cosmos of all kinds of words Slide 11 SOME OTHER PLATONIC VIEWS Plato expresses different views on art & poetry elsewhere Phaedrus: Plato admires mania of poet Apology: invokes Achilles as his model! Plato is himself a supreme literary artist (and knows it!) Ion: poetry beautiful and true But poets/rhapsodes irrational Operate under inspiration = ENTHOUSIASMOS Republic 10: poet = imitator only No inspiration Plato on poetry: Curb Your Enthousiasmos Slide 12 ARISTOTLE Aristotle: Platos greatest student and greatest critic: Poetics defends art and poetry Aristotle Contemplating Homer (Rembrandt, c. 1650) Slide 13 Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii (1784) Slide 14 Pablo Picasso, Guernica (1937) Slide 15 Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) Slide 16 Francesco de Goya, 3rd of May 1808 Slide 17 Goya, Disasters of War Slide 18 Some Greek writers on art Polyclitus Sculptor active c. 450-410 BC Author of Canon A technical treatise Philosophical overtones? Empedocles Hippias Gorgias Democritus Apelles Euphranor, et al. Sources in Pliny Vitruvius Polyclitus, Doryphorus c. 445 BC Slide 19 Gorgias: An important precursor to Socrates/Plato Sicilian teacher of rhetoric Interest in forms of logos & art Interest in Homer & tragedy Tragedy as form of deceit: apat On tragedy: B23: the deceiver is more just than the non-deceiver, and the deceived is cleverer than the non-deceived Cf. Simonides: Thessalians too stupid to be deceived by him. Cf. Dissoi Logoi (3.10)...in painting and tragedy the one who deceives the most by making things most like real things, this man is best. Gorgias of Leontini, c. 480-375 BC Slide 20 Gorgias on Logos, Emotion & Reality Encomium of Helen Power of rhetoric/peitho Seductive, deceptive Gorgias uses her story to speculate on psychology, epistemology, rhetoric, etc. On Not Being Nothing exists Even if it did, Nothing is knowable Even if it were, Logos conveys Nothing, so we cant talk about it Defence of Palamedes Innocent man defending self Rational attempt at persuasion Ostensibly convincing but fails Peitho as Erotic Personification Slide 21 Gorgias Encomium of Helen Ostensibly tries to exculpate Helen from blame for Trojan War Presents her as victim Of the gods will Of desire (ers) induced by sight and artworks ers : also a god Of Paris violence (bia) Of Logos: persuasive emotive power of words in all forms Poetry, rhetoric, law court speeches, scientific arguments All forms of logos/peitho are false and deceptive Exploit/manipulate doxa Gorgias of Leontini, c. 480-375 BC Slide 22 Gorgias Encomium of Helen 8-9: Logos is great ruler that, with the smallest and least conspicuous body brings about the most divine deeds. For it can stop fear and take away grief and generate joy and increase pity. I deem and name all poetry as logos that has meter; ultra fearful shuddering and very tearful pity and grief-loving longing come upon its hearers, and as a result of the good fortunes and bad fortunes of of other peoples actions and bodies, the soul, through the agency of words, suffers its own private suffering. Gorgias of Leontini, c. 480-375 BC Slide 23 Gorgias Encomium of Helen 10: For the inspired epodes through words are inducers of pleasure and banishers of grief. For mingling with the opinion of the soul the power of the ode enchants and persuades and changes the soul by witchcraft. And two arts of witchcraft and magic have been invented, which are the mistakes of soul and the deceptions of opinion. Gorgias of Leontini, c. 480-375 BC Slide 24 Gorgias Encomium of Helen 11-12:... To remember the past, to examine the present, or to prophesy the future is not easy; and so most people on most subjects make doxa advisor to their minds. But doxa is perilous and uncertain, and brings those who use it to perilous and uncertain good fortune... For peitho expelled her thought; peitho which has the same dunamis but not the same form as anagke. 14: The power of the logos has the same relation to the ordering of the soul as the ordering of drugs does to the nature of the body. some (sc. speeches) cause grief, others fear, while others instill courage in their hearers, and some drug and bewitch the soul with some evil persuasion. Gorgias of Leontini, c. 480-375 BC Slide 25 Gorgias: Encomium of Helen 8-14 Psychology of logos Instills emotions Applies to poetry and prose Fear, longing, desire, pity Cf. Aristotle on fear and pity of tragedy (Poetics) Works on soul like magic Goteia, Thelxis, Apat Witchcraft, beguilement, deceit Cf. Plato in Rep. 10 on painting & tragedy In Helen 18 powers of visual art and opsis parallel the powers of logos Inspire the same emotional, psychological responses Helen with Ers and Paris, c. 350 BC Slide 26 Gorgias: Encomium of Helen 18 But indeed whenever painters perfectly produce one body and form from many colours and bodies, they delight the sight. The making of statues and the production of sculptures provide a sweet sickness for the eyes. Thus, it is natural for the sight to grieve for some things and long for others. And many things produce in many people desire and longing for many actions and bodies. Helen with Ers and Paris, c. 350 BC Slide 27 Homeric Erotic Statues Od. 6.229-37: Odysseus embellished by Athena for Nausikaa He is compared to gold and silver statue Athena compared to craftsman Erotic thauma of new appearance NB Nausikaas response Odysseus before his makeover Slide 28 Homeric Erotic Statues Penelope embellished by Athena (Od. 18.191ff) Compared to carved ivory Effect on suitors Thelxis Thauma Desire Mycenaean ivory female figures Slide 29 Anavysos Kouros, c. 530 BC accompanied by inscription in hexameter (Homeric) verse Stay by the grave of Kroisos the dead man and pity him whom once in the forefront of battle raging Ares destroyed. emotive response required Homeric/heroic connotations cf. Thersites as opposite erotic; cf. Tyrtaeus Slide 30 New York Kouros; Cleobis & Biton Slide 31 Anavysos Kouros, c. 530 BC Slide 32 Kritian Boy, c. 490-80 Slide 33 Dexileos Monument, c. 390 Inscription: Dexileos, son of Lysanias from Thorikos, born under the archonship of Teisandros [=414/13 BC], died under the archonship of Euboulides at Corinth as one of five cavalrymen. Slide 34 Pandora: as Erotic Statue Theogony 571-90 Pandora as model made by Hephaistos Wears talismanic crown Thaumasia objects on it Composite figure with gift from Athena Erotic and deceptive qualities Irresistible guile Thauma grips even gods when looking at her Kalon kakon Pandora/Anesidora Slide 35 Pandora: as Erotic Statue Creation of Pandora; Attic Rf calyx krater, c. 460 BC Slide 36 Slide 37 Phrasi