Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Jeremiah Hackett


arsilio Ficino's Neo-Platonist assessments of differing aspects of powers or capacities associated with the human soul (spiritual, conceptual, influential, and the capacity to engender effects upon material reality), as represented within selected religious and secular paintings by Sandro Botticelli, are discussed in this study for an analysis of the innovative, syncretic conceptual unity of ancient North-African, MiddleEastern, Greco-Roman and early Christian and Medieval philosophical and theological traditions which are advocated by Ficino’s theoretical formulations. Botticelli's paintings are considered for the manner in which they may be understood, within the context of Ficino's conceptual systems, as externalizing, serving as a catalyst for, demonstrating, or disseminating philosophical activity by means of stimulating responses via the perceptions of unique, individual perceivers. Individual works of art are discussed as potentially active, rather than passive agents for engagement with cultural ideas and ideals, serving to promote Platonic concepts in accord with Ficinian Neo-Platonist metaphysical and theoretical structures.


© 2018, Frank C. Martin, II

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