Renaissance

The art-historical debate surrounding use of the word "Renaissance" hangs on the degree to which one sees a break between what we define as late medieval culture and the characteristics we associate, in particular, with fourteenth-century Florence. As Erwin Panofsky famously elaborated, those in the arts tend to see greater separation between what came before and what followed. At this stage of my life, I see immense value in the concept of rebirth.

Florentine humanism seems remote indeed from Pierre Huyghe's spare, one might say postapocalyptic installation on the roof of the Museum this summer. And yet Beatrice marveled to find amid Huyghe's carefully planned ruins new life: a colony of insects thriving in the rain-fed pools and windblown weeds that now seed the pavers on top of the Met.      


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