The theory of Imitation was a central topic of discussion in the ‘Republic of Letters’. The European community of humanists, philosophers, poets and artists was engaged in the dispute over the models to refer to during the creative process. How to develop a normative canon as a reference point for artists and writers in the practice of Imitation? Which poets and artists to select as the examples of ‘bello stile’?
While the authority of ancient models was universally acknowledged, the building of a canon of modern masters was under discussion. One of the typical environments of this discussion were the Academies, where writers, artists, philosophers, antiquarians gathered around learned patrons.