Theoros at the Celebration of Music: The Neoplatonist and Humanist Theories of Rhetorics and Image in Monterverdi’s Orfeo

Auteur / Author: 
Jason D’AOUST (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
Lundi 22 Août 2011 - 17:00


Can the human voice and its artistic use be compared to the image in visual arts and, thereby, be understood in similar terms in regard to the place it occupies and the functions it serves in artistic regimes? As I pursue research on the figure of Orpheus, it beccomes clear that in their opera La favola d’Orfeo, Claudio Monteverdi and Alessandro Striggio were working within a malleable discourse on images determined by multiple influences at the end of the ethical and beginning of the representational regimes of art, to use Jacques Rancière’s terminology. The centrality of Art in the Humanist dialogue with Antiquity gave mimesis or representation a new status I wish to explore in this paper. Especially of interest will be the representation of the Allegory of Music through the described movement of rhetorical figures. This prologue to L’Orfeo is a manifesto for the agency of the imagination to affect people through the combination of visual and musical theory.