PLOTINUS' 'ENNEADS': CRITICISM OF PLATO'S CONCEPTION
AAccording to Plato, the poetry and the painting belong to 'mimetic arts'. A painter does not represent the Idea, the essence of objects. A bed that was painted is only imitation of imitation and that is why this bed pictured by a painter 'is as many as three steps away from nature'. Today, it is believed that an artist - like God - creates a new world deriving it from his own imagination. In contrary, in Plato's conception only God is a real creator. On the other hand, Plotinus claims that the arts cannot be disregarded or condemned only because they imitate nature, which itself is imperfect. He completely inverts Plato's schema. In his opinion, art is superior to nature. Plotinus, criticizing Plato's criticism of mimetic arts, admits that the artist is able to reach to divine and intelligible causes and to make visible the very patterns of things. The figurative art of Fayum Portraits no less than the Byzantine art would be mirrored in the metaphysics of Plotinus whereas the abstract art would reflect his metanoetics that sets forth the theory of One without any form and would give value to unconscious acts of artistic creation.
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