What do Renaissance poetry and painting have in common? What are the social, ideological, and aesthetic bases for the links between them? And what role do those links play in creating the humanistic culture that still has power over us today?
These are the questions Clark Hulse takes up in this sophisticated interdisciplinary study of Renaissance aesthetics. Proposing an archeology of artistic knowledge, Hulse examines the theoretical language through which the poets, painters, and patrons of the Renaissance conceived of the relationship between the arts. That language is embedded in what he calls a "rule of art," a specific set of categories, assumptions, and practices that defined the two art forms and the relationship between them. Hulse charts the rise of both forms to the status of liberal arts requiring special intellectual training for artist and patron alike. In the process, he uncovers the history of the practice of theory in the Renaissance, revealing how artistic discourse lived in the world.