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date: 20 September 2019

Possevino, Antoniolocked

(b Mantua, July 10, 1533; d Ferrara, Feb 26, 1611).
  • Marco Collareta

Extract

(b Mantua, July 10, 1533; d Ferrara, Feb 26, 1611).

Italian writer. He entered the Jesuit Order in 1559, and was an energetic teacher, diplomat and campaigner against heretics. He also wrote a great many books, the outstanding works being the Moscovia (1586), important for information on the Russia of that time, and the Bibliotheca selecta (1593), a broad and systematic treatise on divine and human sciences. The 17th book of the Bibliotheca selecta deals with poetry and painting. Like other parts of the work, it was published on its own (1595), with additions and under the title Tractatio de poesi et pictura ethnica, humana et fabulosa collata cum vera, honesta et sacra. Possevino was convinced of the close affinity between poetry and painting and believed that painters must have a wide literary and scientific education. He referred to the major ancient and modern writers on painting, providing the first attempt at a critical bibliography on the subject. The theological and moral correctness of images interested him intensely. The ...

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