Vincenzo Fiore Marrese

Key questions

Art and imitation

work in progress

According to the dictionary, to imitate has at least two meanings: to behave like someone else or to make a copy of someone or something else[1]. One can imagine an actor playing a role and a photographer making a picture. One can imagine these people as a poet and a painter. More than two thousand years ago, a text stated that some poets and painters were imitators[2]. This text laid the foundations of the concept of art as imitation[3]. However, according to scholars, the context of the text is not entirely clear[4]. Notably, the meaning of poetry and imitation are argumentable[5].


  1. Plato. Republic. Translated by Allan Bloom. 2nd ed. New York: Basic Books, 1991.
  2. Sontag, Susan. Against Interpretation. Reprinted. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1969.