SPAH Seminar Series Week 7: Professor Jules Lubbock

Aristotle - Averroes - Addison: Aesthetic Freedom from Antiquity to the Enlightenment

  • Thu 18 Nov 21

    15:00 - 17:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Professor Jules Lubbock

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    SPAH Seminar Series, 2021-22

  • Event organiser

    Philosophy and Art History, School of

  • Contact details

    Abby Connell

Part of the SPAH Seminar Series, Prof Jules Lubbock gives a talk about Aesthetic Freedom from Antiquity to the Enlightenment

In an open ended way, I want to explore the possibility that modern ‘Aesthetic Freedom’, so brilliantly described by Jörg Schaub, has a continuous history within the arts in Europe since the Greek tragedians. In his Poetics Aristotle defines human beings as the most imitative of all animals: through our experience of exact imitation, we can reflect dispassionately upon the most terrifying things in real life. This notion of detachment re-emerges in Hermann the German’s 1256 Latin translation of Averroes’ commentary on the Poetics, and again in Addison’s 1712 Essays on Fancy and the Imagination. But what was being thought in between?

About the speaker:
Jules Lubbock is an expert in both Architecture and Urbanism and Italian Renaissance Art. His book, Storytelling in Christian Art from Giotto to Donatello, (Yale 2006) explains how artists solved difficult problems in representing the biblical stories; it has received critical acclaim. One section on Giovanni Pisano’s Pisa Pulpit has been made into a Heni film.

The Tyranny of Taste (Yale 1995) explains how British architecture and design between 1550 and 1960 was shaped by political, economic and moral concerns. He is also co-author of a history of British architectural education, Architecture: Art or Profession (Manchester 1994). In 2014 he curated Something Fierce an exhibition in the Hexagon Restaurant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brutalist campus of the University of Essex. There was a small related contribution to the Royal Academy of Art Futures Found exhibition in 2017. He has recently published two essays on the art historian Michael Baxandall and he has just finished a short book entitled Looking at War and Peace: Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s 1338 frescoes in the Sala della Pace in Siena to be published in 2023. His future projects relate to ornament and visuality.

As architecture critic of the New Statesman and a speechwriter to the Prince of Wales he helped promote the policy of New Urbanism. He was Director of a major AHRB research project on the relationship between post-war architecture and ideas of personal identity - 'Concepts of Self in the Theory and Practice of Architecture and Town-Planning since 1945' which was completed in August 2006.

To attend, please email spahpg@essex.ac.uk for the Zoom link. The seminar will also be streamed in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall Seminar Room. 

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