Artistic Terms in Renaissance Rhetorical and Artistic Manuals

In addition to analysing Shakespeare's corpus, it may be useful to see how artistic terminology is used in paragone texts (texts used to argue for the superiority of one medium over others). To this end, this graph includes the following texts and authors: George Puttenham's 1589 The Arte of English Poesie, Philip Sidney's 1595 An Apology for Poetry, Nicholas Hilliard's c. 1600 Art of Limning, Henry Peacham's 1606 The Art of Drawing with the Pen, and Thomas Heywood's 1612 An Apology for Actors.

It is interesting to note how frequently man and learned appear in texts that defend the textual arts. Paragone writers leveraged man's learning as a key element to argue for the superiority of the textual arts. Visual arts, some argued, could be comprehended by all, not just those who were literate. Make tends to frequent texts that focus on the visual arts, indicating that perhaps paintings were perceived as physical products that differed from literature. In any case, the history of the definitions and connotations of these terms and their relationships to one another are deserving of more scholarly attention.