The Enigma of Art: On the Provenance of Artistic Creation


Author: Gino Zaccaria
In this book, Gino Zaccaria offers a philosophical meditation on the issue of art in light of its originary sense. He shows how this sense can be fully understood provided that our thinking, on the one hand, returns to the ancient Greek world where it must heed the voice and hints of the goddess Athena, and, on the other hand, listens to “artist-thinkers” close to our current epoch, such as Cézanne, van Gogh and Boccioni. Indeed, the path of this meditation has as its guide the well-known sentence by the painter from Aix-en-Provence, which reads: “Je vous dois la vérité en peinture, et je vous la dirai !”. What will finally appear in this way will not be an abstract or historical notion of art, but its enigma; that is to say, the promise of “another initiation” of art itself.

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Gino Zaccaria is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at Bocconi University (Milan). He has published various monographs and essays in the fields of ontology and metaphysics (according to a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach), with particular focus on the dialogue between philosophy, poetry, art and science. His last book is a study on the concept of the Null in the poetical thought of Giacomo Leopardi ( Pensare il nulla, Pavia 2015). He has also edited books and published Italian translations of works by Friedrich Hölderlin and Georg Trakl. He is co-editor in chief of the international journal eudia - Yearbook for Philosophy, Poetry and Art ( and co-director of the international research project ScienzaNuova ( Presently is he working on a book dedicated to the phenomenology of time and space.


Lexicon of a Thought-Path towards the Provenance of Art
 0.1 Preamble
 0.2 Path-Word Elucidations
 0.3 List of Other Path-Words
 0.4 Path-Word Maps

part 1: Potency’s Art, Salubrity’s Art

1 The Dynamism of Boccioni
  The Futurist Foundation of Artwork: Immersion into Potency and Energy
 1.1 A Brief Premise
 1.2 Universal Dynamism
 1.3 The Morpho-Radio-Chromatic Model (Potency-Power, Energy, Space-Time)
 1.4 Unacceptability (towards Cézanne and van Gogh)

2 The Light of Cézanne
  Errantry into the Sun
 2.1 Ardour
 2.2 First Step: Solar Awfulness, Light and Flagrance
 2.3 Second Step: Colour
 2.4 Third Step: The Painting of Verity
 2.5 Naturalness of the “Grand Magicien”

3 The Frugality of van Gogh
  Errantry into the Mistral, into Salubriousness
 3.1 “Le ton local”
 3.2 Truth and Absconsion
 3.3 Nature, Truth and Art
 3.4 Wind
 3.5 Salubrity and Frugality

part 2: Athena and the Enigma

1: Sciency for Art

4 Elucidations of Some Further Path-Words
 4.1 Irrefragableness
 4.2 Excandescence
 4.3 Businessisation
 4.4 The Apperceptive Acception of Truth
 4.5 Truth, Verity
 4.6 The Scope of Being, Truth and Verity

5 The En-Wording of Art
 5.1 The Play
 5.2 The Realm of Errantry

6 Science and Sciency, Art and Errantry
 6.1 From Science to Sciency
 6.2 Sciency for Art
 6.3 Mother-Speech
 6.4 Art and History, Geniture and Inition

2: Athena

7 Loci of the Goddess
 7.1 The Art of Athena
 7.2 The Reigning Goddess
 7.3 The Hymn

8 Eye, Prefulgence, Γλαυκότης
 8.1 The Γλαυκῶπις and Παλλάς Tones
 8.2 The “Glaucous” Eye-Cast, the “Glaucous” Myrance
 8.3 “Glaucousness” and Prefulgence
 8.4 The Multiform Γλαυκότης
 8.5 The Eye’s Gift

9 The Salubrious-Divine Myrance
 9.1 The Marvel of the Scope of Being
 9.2 Excursus. The Γλαυκότης of Leopardi (a Vage Digression into Immensity)
 9.3 The Γλαυκότης of the Goddess

10 Prefulgence, Κόσμος and Salubrity
 10.1 Grace and Want (Thinking towards the Κόσμος of Heraclitus)
 10.2 The Three Eyes of the Scope of Being

11 Μῆτις
 11.1 The Salubrious Concent
 11.2 Elucidation of Μῆτις
 11.3 Athenaic (Ubiquity-)Nullibiety

12 The Heart of Salubriousness
 12.1 Athena’s Heart
 12.2 Towards the Beënt, towards the Things
 12.3 The Bidance of Salubrity and the Greek Deity

13 Athenaicness and Salubriousness
 13.1 Towards the Art of Chastity
 13.2 The Atlas Metope

14 Salubriousness and Art
 14.1 Originariness of the Calls
 14.2 The Wild Olive
 14.3 Vesper
 14.4 Which Path?

3: The Enigma

15 Art and Errantry, Vagancy and Vagisness
 15.1 The “Secret of Art”
 15.2 The Stele of Schism
 15.3 Chastity: Errantry
 15.4 The Ultimate Horizon

16 The Enigma of Art
 16.1 Dis-may
 16.2 “The Long History” and Geniture

17 Nay-Say (Un-Wordedness)
 17.1 Destiny
 17.2 Γλαυκότης, Light, Φύσις
 17.3 Φύσις and Salubriousness

18 The Onset of the Nay-Say
 18.1 Spontaneity, Φύσις, Tέχνη
 18.2 The Uniqueness of Athena
 18.3 Ἀλήθεια

part 3: The Two Arts (a Hint)

19 Φύσις and Τέχνη
  Nature and Art
 19.1 Φύσις as Assurgency
 19.2 Art and Art
 19.3 Groundlessness
 Cited and Reference Works
 Consulted Dictionaries
 Classical Sources
 Online Resources
Index of Classical Authors
Index of Modern Authors
All those interested in the philosophy and history of art, in hermeneutics and cultural studies, and anyone concerned with either the Classics or with the beginnings of the art of the last century.