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(Italian, ‘design or drawing’)

In Italian Renaissance theory disegno referred to the total concept or design of a work of art. Some Mannerist theorists wrote of the disegno interno, the artist's ideal visualization of an object or scene, as opposed to its actual appearance. Less specifically, disegno referred to drawing in general, the very basis of a visual artist's training. In the Renaissance, Florentine artists were perceived as being more concerned with drawing, whereas those from Venice attached greater importance to colour. This apparent dichotomy persisted in the debates in 17th-century France at the Académie royale, where the two opposing camps of the Poussinistes and the Rubénistes pursued the drawing versus colour argument.

Subjects: Art.

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