On the threshold of modernity. The Renaissance art of mnemonics in the “Dialogue about memory” by Lodovico Dolce
Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego
With the roots in antiquity, the mnemonic treatises were developed in the Middle Ages, taking very interesting forms. The apogee of their development was noted in the 14th and 15th centuries. Works devoted to the “artificial memory” did not disappear with the spread of the printing. On the contrary, new writings came out, and 16th-century editions were enhanced with illustrations called imagines agentes. The appearance of the treatises in national languages is considered a breakthrough in that process. An outstanding example is the Italian version of Johannes Romberch’s Congestiorum Artis Memoriae created by Lodovico Dolce, the renowned collaborator of Venetian publishing houses. Dialogue about memory’s woodcuts present the traditional memory images, which serve as allegories helping to memorize at several levels of meaning, and diagrams seeming to forebode „rhetoric machines.” Illustrations being at service of rhetoric, in their simple everyday shape, perfectly reflect the transformation of the understanding of the world at that time.
FAR 2011 No. 1 (24) January-March