Thursday, November 2, 2006
Artist as "genius": As conjunction of the artisan, clerical, and courtly cultures, the cult of genius emerged in the early 16th-Century during the High Renaissance and became fully developed in the age of Romanticism -at the beginning of the 19th century. The artist conceives himself as the "unacknowledged legislator of the world" (in the words of the English poet Percy Shelley), an autonomous, godlike creator of new orders of reality obedient only to his perceptions and the categories of his mind. He creates the unifying symbols of a developing civilization. Historically, the "genius" is the precursor of the professional artist of the 20th-Century. Artists like Raphael, Michelangelo, Mozart, Byron, Beethoven, Delacroix, etc, are notable examples.