Marsilio Ficino, Pietro Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione: Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Political Approaches in Renaissance Platonism

Peter Lang (1998)
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Abstract

Marsilio Ficino's ideas on love, cosmology, the contemplative life, and the immortality of the soul transformed Europe, inspiring art and shaping attitudes for centuries to come. After examining his attempts to reconcile Christian authority with Renaissance individualism, this study shows how his synthesis of Platonic, Christian, and courtly love influenced the thought of two of his successors, Pietro Bembo and Baldassare Castiglione. While the former contributed in large measure to the spread of Petrarchism, which was steadily determining the style and tone of the best poetry of the age, the latter created a work of richness and complexity, which is seen as a representation of the Renaissance itself. Dr. Raffini's overview, meant to address a need among students of Renaissance literature, history, and art, succeeds as well in making these three innovative thinkers accessible and relevant to the general reader.

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