"Mimesis as a Form of Invenzione: A Reconsideration of Rivalry within an Artistic Lineage". Southeastern College Art Conference. October 16, 2019 - October 19, 2019

International Meeting or Conference

In Quattrocento Florence, artists were challenged to master an imitation of nature while at the same time expressing an inherent invenzione. Three Master painters of the Florentine School are stylistically and biographically connected: Fra Filippo Lippi was the teacher of Sandro Botticelli, who later was the instructor of Lippi’s son Filippino. This paper will systematically group narrative paintings produced by this artistic lineage to investigate the forces that shaped stylistic choices. Reviving a biographical approach with an emphasis on master-pupil emulation and rivalry, I explore how each of these three artists created unique solutions to the artistic problem of realistically rendering the human and the divine. Using the subject of the Annunciation as a case study, each artist’s practice will be analyzed for its mimesis, invenzione and adherence to contemporary painting tradition. From the visual evidence of the comparative analysis of these Annunciation scenes and a review of Quattrocento Florentine workshop practice, I conclude that there is a more complex story to tell than that of three generations of mere discipleship. I propose that the mastery of mimesis made possible an expression of invenzione as the two elements of artistic technique intertwined and advanced each other.

Service Performed By


  • October 16, 2019 - October 19, 2019

Host Organization

  • Southeastern College Art Conference

Location or Venue

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee