Ignis artificiosus. Images of God and the Universe in Rubens’s Depiction of Antique Shields
Keywords:Peter Paul Rubens, shield, ekphrasis, aether, Justus Lipsius’s natural philosophy, ecpyrosis
Rubens’s intellectual pursuits are not new to art historians. Much ink has been spilled to illustrate how much and in which way both the classical heritage and Lipsius’s Neostoic thought influenced his artistic production. This article aligns with this scholarly tradition, by concentrating on a peculiar motif depicted by Rubens on antique shields between 1616 and 1618, and by showing how ancient ekphrasis and Lipsius’s natural philosophy, imbued with Platonic and Hermetic ideas, played a fundamental role in Rubens’s invention of this original and powerful image. The latter represents the embodiment of the laws of nature and God, bringing to mind the theological and philosophical discussions circulating among intellectuals at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2018 Teresa Esposito
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with EMLC agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) or a Creative Commons NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are explicitly encouraged to deposit their article in their institutional repository.