Hans Blumenberg’s, frequently oblique, reflections on art rank among the most erudite in twentieth-century theories of art. The following investigations focus especially on his views on the visual arts as they unfold from his critical reception of Leonardo da Vinci’s art and science. At the center of such a reception stands a preeminent image concept of the Renaissance, the “window image,” and its epistemological implications, which Blumenberg counters with a skeptical attitude toward the mimetic aesthetics of images. In doing so, he contradicts Paul Valéry’s influential interpretation of Leonardo’s “method,” which Blumenberg discusses at great length, just to cut short the ambiguities of Renaissance perspective as a “symbolic form.”
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