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Figura serpentinata
(813 words)

Figura serpentinata describes an ideal artistic figure: a stylized rotated body compared to a coiled snake, either at rest or in motion, ideally conceived as viewable from multiple perspectives [4]. Throughout the early modern era, theory of art (Art theory) treated this ideal figure, with its crucially close ties with mannerism, as one of the central ways to conceive of poise and motion. It was originally formulated by the art theorist Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo (1584) [2. 22–24], who compared the figura serpentinata to a flame and ascribed its invention to Michelange…

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Kanz, Roland, “Figura serpentinata”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 23 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019264>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126



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