Fra Lippo Lippi: Argument About Art
Then, you’ll take Your hand away that’s fiddling on my throat… ” (12-13). Why then Is the monologue delivered? It might be regarded as a sort of apologia , as his captors are not a little surprised by discovering their prisoners membership of a monastic order: “Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head – Mine’s shaved -? a monk. You say -? the sting’s in that! If Master Cosmic announced himself, Mum’s the word naturally; but a monk! ” (76-79).
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However, beginning as such, Far Lollipop Lippies speech turns Into an emotional outpouring of his ideas regarding art and Its nature.
He seems to find It easier to share his independent opinions with the guards, who are socially closer to him than either his Prior or his influential patron. It is a monologue of an artist hindered in his work by his customers, as he has to adapt his paintings to their tastes, however distasteful he finds it. By and by he expresses his views on the nature of art, it connection with religion and Its mission. His views defer significantly from the Church’s doctrine that the truthful depiction of human body Is unnecessary and harmful, as art is to elevate human soul. Ding it to forget the earthly. For Prior the artist’s truthful depiction of human body is “devil’s game” (172). His main objection is that Lollipop’s paintings “do to so instigate to prayer” (316), which should be the chief objective of art. The art should deal with the spiritual world, using material things as far as they reflect the spiritual categories: his demand to the artist can be reduced to “Give us no more of body than shows the soul” (188). Lollipop successfully builds his own philosophy of art, refuting the Prior’s arguments.
While the Prior Is hypocritical In his despise of body, Lollipop’s art Is sincere In Its praise of God’s creation. He supposes that there is nothing sinful in representing things as they are, eliciting in his viewers a thrill of recognition in something that is to be called realism centuries later. “The shapes of things, their colors, lights and shades, Changes, surprises, -? and God made it all! ” (284-285) Thus it is no pointless imitation of nature, it helps viewers to see nature as created by God anew. Furthermore, it revives the soul and calls It towards God, helping to see HIS work In everyday things.
The artist works ad ma]room del Gloria and tries to use his talent to help people in their search of God. Far Lollipop Lippies conception of art differs widely from that which is expressed by the Church in the person of the Prior. He insists that his art does serve God – better than it would if he conformed to the Prior’s demands. Firstly, he feels that art, as the Prior sees it, is hypocritical. As it is, You tell too many lies and hurt yourself: You don’t Like what you only Like too much, You ah Like want, IT glen you at your word, You find abundantly detestable. 261-264) But is does not he lead a hypocritical life either? Remember, he is a monk – and he is caught “at an alley’s end Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar? ” (5-6) Even rough watchmen look disapproving and shocked. Lollipop Justifies himself. He points UT that he was an eight-year-old child when he was forced to take monastic vows by extreme hunger. He had to renounce either the world with its temptations or a piece of bread, and certainly he chose the former. I’m grown a man no doubt, I’ve broken bounds: You should not take a fellow eight years old And make him swear to never kiss the girls. 223-225) Secondly, Lollipop insists that his art does serve the Church. His opponents would like his paintings to set the objectives rather than reflect the current state of things, but the artist answers: … Don’t you mark? We’re made so that we love hen we see them painted, things we have passed Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see; And so they are better, painted -? better to us, Which is the same thing. Art was given for that; God uses us to help each other so, Lending our minds out. (300-306) First He points out that his works are not a mere meaningless imitation of life.
They help people to understand, evaluate and appreciate things around them anew, to see them with other eyes, or Just to see what they have been blind to. As he sees it, such use of art comes directly from God, and he obeys Him and serves Him with his gift as well as he is able to. Next, he presents an apologia of the body. It cannot be detached from soul, as it is also a part of a human being. The world as a whole unites both the spiritual and the material, the heavenly and the earthly – it was so created by God.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught; I always see the garden and God there A-making man’s wife: and, my lesson learned, The value and significance of flesh, I can’t unlearn ten minutes afterwards (265-269) The flesh is an integral part of a human being, it cannot and must not be ignored as God’s creation. Thus Lollipop and the Prior’s argument extends beyond the subject of art into a potentially dangerous area, broaching the subject of mandatory celibacy for clergymen. Lollipop doubts its Justice and expresses ideas which are to appear a few centuries later.
He supposes that God’s gifts should inspire Joy and gratitude rather than be rejected – and he expresses this in his paintings: Do you feel thankful, ay or For this fair town’s face, yonder river’s line, The mountain round it and the sky above, Much more the figures of man, woman, child, These are the frame to? What’s it all about? Dwelt upon, To be passed over, despised? Or Wondered at? Oh, this last of course! -? you say. (286-292) He highlights the great alee AT a person, an Uninominal, as a material Ana spiritual wangle. Nature Is only a frame for a human being.
Human body is made by God, and as such it is worth admiring and painting in all its perfection. It is Prior’s disdainful and pejorative attitude towards it that is sinful, as it is disdain towards God’s own creation. Once again, Browning puts into Lipids mind the ideas of the following generations. Lastly, according to the artist, beauty itself does not wake only worldly feelings – it inspires people and awakens the soul: If you get simple beauty and naught else, You get about the best thing God invents: That’s somewhat: and you’ll find the soul you have missed, Within yourself, when you return him thanks. 217-220) Thus it serves both God and people. Thus it provides the victory of the spiritual over the material – the Church teaches us to aspire to. This conception is akin to Dostoevsky “Beauty will save the world”. Beauty is endowed by the artist with a power to revive the human soul – and what higher mission could art have? Here is its ultimate aim. It appears symbolic that Lollipop is caught at the alleys end. His own life look a blind alley: both in his life and in his art he is cannot follow his liberal ideas. In life, he is forced to do it secretly.
In art, being extremely sensitive to criticism, he frequently has to conform, to adapt, to paint what is expected of him: So, I swallow my rage, Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint To please them -? sometimes do and sometimes don’t… (242-244) But his masterpieces live and, having inspired Robert Browning to write the poem, continue to be wondered at and admired, which speaks for itself. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume E: The Victorian Age. 8th De. W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. Print.