Pythagoras - Sir Ernst Goubrich – from Art and Illusion
Type of Spiritual Experience
The following quote shows a whole history of achievement and also a number of sources of this achievement, but I have singled out Pythagoras
A description of the experience
Sir Ernst Goubrich – Art and Illusion
In antiquity the discussion of painting and sculpture inevitably centred on the imitation of nature – mimesis. Indeed it may be said that the progress of art towards that goal was to the ancient what progress of technology is to the modern; the model of progress as such. Thus Pliny told the history of sculpture and painting as the history of inventions, assigning definitive achievements in the rendering of nature to individual artists; the painter Polygnotus was the first to represent people with open mouth and with teeth, Pythagorus was the first to render nerves and veins, the painter Nikias was concerned with light and shade. The history of these years [550 to 350 BC] as it is reflected in Pliny or Quintilian was handed down like an epic of conquest, a story of inventions...
In the Renaissance it was Vasari who applied this technique to the history of the arts of Italy from the 13th to the 16th century. Vasari never fails to pay tribute to those artists of the past who made a distinct contribution, as he saw it, to the mastery of representation. 'Art rose from humble beginnings to the summit of perfection because such natural geniuses as Giotto blazed the trail and others were thus enabled to build on their achievements'.