In his medical treatise De vita (1498), Marsilio Ficino describes the force of medical talismans and their efficacy on humans against the background of a cosmological physiology. This article focuses on the question of how—according to Ficino—the powers of medical talismans were experienced by humans, by the living, sensible body (corpus animatum). Discussion of this question also leads to theoretical considerations about the efficacy of artifacts in the Renaissance.
Life from Within: Physiology and Talismanic Efficacy in Marsilio Ficino’s De vita (1498)
Tanja Klemm is an art historian currently working as research assistant at the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Cologne. She is the author of Bildphysiologie. Körper und Wahrnehmung in Mittelalter und Renaissance (2013) and co-editor of Sind alle Denker traurig? Fallstudien zum melancholischen Grund des Schöpferischen in Asien und Europa (2015). Currently she is preparing, with Stephanie Dieckvoss, a monographic issue for Kunstforum International on the formation of artists in a global perspective.
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Tanja Klemm; Life from Within: Physiology and Talismanic Efficacy in Marsilio Ficino’s De vita (1498). Representations 1 February 2016; 133 (1): 110–129. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2016.133.1.110
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