ROBB, Nesca A.,
Neoplatonism of the Italian Renaissance.
Allen & Unwin, London, 1935. 1st ed. 315p. Original blue cloth. Cover a bit grimy. Spine gilt titled. Spine yellowed. Edges a bit foxed. Signature on free endpaper. Pages rust stained. “This clear and comprehensive survey does not attempt to trace the transmission of the Platonic heritage through the Middle Ages. It finds a suitable starting point in Petrarch, with whom begins what fairly be called the Renaissance attitude to Plato, and does not include the philosophical developments of the latter part of the sixteenth century and Giordano Bruno. It is confined to such of the manifestations of Neoplatonism as were, in a somewhat narrow sense, artistic and literary and to the use and abuse of philosophical ideas for aesthetic purposes. This does not mean that Miss Robb has not completely mastered also the deeper philosophical aspects of the Neoplatonic vogue. (…). Miss Robb (…) sees in Neoplatonism anticipations of attitudes which were to become widespread at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Neoplatonists, she thinks, shared, with the great Romantics, in a genuinely poetic feeling for the presence of the spiritual in the material. (…) Be it as it may, one would vainly seek for romantic touches in the literature of 'trattati d’amore' which forms the most popular development of Neoplatonism (…). Miss Robb writes a very illuminating chapter on Neoplatonism and the arts. She sees a Neoplatonic attitude to life in the wind-born movement which animates Botticelli’s dancing figures, and next to this profile of what both philosophical and materially could be called a 'pneumatic' painter.She presents Michelangelo as the artist who gave the fullest expression to that glorification of man which had been the central motive of the Florentine Neoplatonists.” (MARIO PRAZ in Medium Aevum, 1938, pp.68-70).