Conversions: Around Tintoretto

Jonathan Goldberg

in The Seeds of Things

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230662
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235827 | DOI:
Conversions: Around Tintoretto

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An early artwork made by Tintoretto showing the conversion of St. Paul is used to illustrate Lucretian materialism, which states that all the components of the universe came from a fundamental unit — an atom. The aforementioned form of art renders a doorway to the linkage between the human and nonhuman domains. Gestures, body parts or interaction between and among objects presented together with their orientation, degree of lighting, and hues convey meanings specifically pointing towards issues on sexuality, transcendence, and human nature. This elucidation is made viable by the removal of the penman's relationship to his handcraft and the detachment from the perspective he holds onto. The author argues that Epicurean materialism offers a simplified explanation of the metaphysical notion of being. Moreover, it is this traditional theology that promulgates that there is such a thing as Heaven and God's power over mankind and the “creation”; only here, atomic propagation is by itself eternal and real.

Keywords: Tintoretto; St. Paul; atom; Lucretian materialism; human; nonhuman; sexuality; transcendence; human nature

Chapter.  10048 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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