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Art, History & Politics, Literature

The Platonist in Love

Poetry, Love and Magic in Renaissance Italy

February 8, 2024
6:30 pm

The event will also be broadcast live on our
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The Platonist in Love
Poetry, Love and Magic in Renaissance Italy

Book presentation of
Il Platonico innamorato
Poesia, Amore, Magia in Francesco Patrizi da Cherso

(Florence: Leo S. Olschki editore, 2023)

by Tommaso Ghezzani, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

The author in conversation with:
Linda Karshan, visual artist
Luca Caldironi, psychiatrist 
Nicola Cipani, NYU


Follow the event live here:

In many Italian courts of the sixteenth century, discussions on the philosophy of love had become a frivolous trend; concurrently, discourse on poetics was increasingly crystallizing along Aristotelian lines. Contrary to these trends, the philosopher Francesco Patrizi da Cherso (1529-1597) stood out: with the aim of initiating a dialogue with intellectually engaged courts and academies, he promoted a renewed Platonism to reshape the culture of his time. Patrizi reformed the intersections of poetry and love, presenting them as new philosophical instruments: the marvelous beauty of the poetic body and the physical beauty of the body of the beloved merged, projecting aesthetic and ethical tensions in the form of a new political magic. In light of the heavy influences of the Counter-Reformation, such approach aimed to trigger a true civil rebirth, stemming from the emancipation of the figure of the intellectual. It is thus possible to affirm that the ideal union of speculative life and active life, advocated by humanistic culture, still permeated the culture of sixteenth-century Italy, of which Patrizi’s philosophical revolution represents one of the most complex and mature outcomes. 

These various threads will be explored in this conversation involving Tommaso Ghezzani, author of Il Platonico innamorato: Poesia, Amore, Magia in Francesco Patrizi da Cherso (2023), and a panel of discussants from various fields, including visual arts (Linda Karshan), psychiatry (Luca Caldironi) and humanistic scholarship (Nicola Cipani).