ΓΝΩΘΙ ΚΑΙΡΟΝ (gnōthi kairon): Personifications of the Awareness of Time in the Italian Renaissance
Time flies, Fortune is fickle, and Opportunity knocks but once. Nonetheless, Life has to roll on. My doctoral thesis examines the visual forms some of the deepest concerns of human existence, such as the passage of time, the unpredictability of life, and the abrupt change of circumstances, have taken in Italian art during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In doing so, it highlights a dynamic interplay between common knowledge and humanist thinking, thereby arguing that to ‘know thy time’ (gnōthi kairon) was once an effective remedy against the vicissitudes of life, forcing human beings to recognise their opportunities and act wisely when the time is right.