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Genius, nature and fine art


Genius is the talent (a natural gift) that gives the rule to art. Since talent, as the artist's innate productive faculty, belongs itself to nature, we could thus also say that genius is the innate disposition of the mind (ingenium) by means of which nature gives the rule to art [….]

Indeed, every art presupposes some rules, on the foundation of which every product that can be called artistic is represented as possible. But the concept of fine art does not concede that the judgment on the beauty of its product would be derived from any rules that had an underlying concept, which would determine how the product is possible: Therefore fine art cannot by itself excogitate the rule according to which it has to realize its products. And since a product can never be called art without an antecedent rule, it follows that nature must give the rule to art in the individual (through the disposition of his/her faculties), which is to say fine art is only possible as the product of genius.

[IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804), Critique of Judgement, pp. 291-292]

SUPPER IN EMMAUS
SUPPER IN EMMAUS
"SUPPER IN EMMAUS"
XVI century, oil on canvas, 115cm x 98cm
Studio of Francesco Bassano (Bassano 1549 – Venice 1592)
THE EARRING
THE EARRING
"THE EARRING"
Oil on canvas, 120cm x 215cm,
artist Napoleone Nanni (Venice 1839 – Rome 1899)
STILL LIFE
STILL LIFE
"STILL LIFE"
Oil on canvas
Napels , XVII century
BAPTISM OF ST. LUCILLA
BAPTISM OF ST. LUCILLA
"BAPTISM OF ST. LUCILLA"
Oil on canvas, 132cm x 181cm,
artist Leandro da Ponte known as il Bassano (Bassano 1557- Venice 1622)
ST. SEBASTIAN
ST. SEBASTIAN
"ST. SEBASTIAN"
XVI century, oil on slate, 20.5cm x 29cm
Attributed to Sebastiano del Piombo (Venice 1485 – Rome 1547)