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Title Cuirasse Esthétique in Terms and Concepts of Aristotle’s Rhetoric.
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About author Sechin, Alexander Georgievich — Ph. D., associate professor. Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, The Moika River nab., 48, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
In the section Art of the Ancient World DOI10.18688/aa166-1-10
Year 2016 Volume 6 Pages 101109
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.041.3; 808.5 Index BBK 85.1

Cuirasse esthétique (fr., literally means esthetic cuirass) is a schematic image of the male torso that goes back to the Canon (Doryphoros) by Greek sculptor Polycleitus. Using K. Clark’s defenition of the nude in ne art as an artform invented by the Greeks in the 5th century B.C., it is possible to treat Polykleitos’ torso as an ideal form of naked male body in art, direct or indirect one (the muscle cuirass designed to mimic an idealized human physique). Clark believed that for modern viewers this ideal form is rough and lifeless, though at their time it was admired by many artists of Renaissance. Mantegna’s images can serve as a striking example of such admiration and imitation. Thus, cuirasse esthétique, on the one hand, marks itself as a certain esthetic unity of antiquity and the Renaissance; on the other, it separates the specified eras from artistic culture of Modern times though, as we know, it was popular during the 17th century classical art period and Neoclassicism. It exists until now in academism. In our opinion, cuirasse esthétique in antiquity became a standard devise of iconic rhetoric, which may explain its wide circulation for a long time. As such devise, it can be described in terms and concepts of Aristotle’s Rhetoric which will allow us to de ne its sense more exactly. The ancient Greek philosopher distinguished “common topics (koinoi topoi), which may be applied alike to Law, Physics, Politics, and many other sciences that di er in kind”, and “speci c topics or enthymemes (eidē and genē) ”, the latter deal with particular subject matter. As an enthymeme, it is a visual cliché, whose meaning is closely connected with Greek’s physiognomic idea of male essential qualities in general. Cuirasse esthétique as a visual topic (eidos) in the best way corresponds to the epideictic (laudatory) kind of rhetorical speeches, for which, according to Aristotle, a usual way of persuasion were comparison and amplification.

Reference Alexander Sechin. Cuirasse Esthétique in Terms and Concepts of Aristotle’s Rhetoric.. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 6. Eds: Anna V. Zakharova, Svetlana V. Maltseva, Ekaterina Yu. Stanyukovich-Denisova. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2016, pp. 101–109. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
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