AskDefine | Define virtu

Dictionary Definition



1 love of or taste for fine objects of art [syn: vertu, connoisseurship]
2 artistic quality [syn: vertu]
3 objet d'art collectively (especially fine antiques)

Extensive Definition

Virtù is a concept most notably theorized by Niccolò Machiavelli centered on the martial spirit of a population or leader, but also encompasses a broader collection of traits necessary for maintenance of the state and "the achievement of great things." Virtù, for Machiavelli, was not equivalent to moral virtue, but was instead linked to the raison d'État. Indeed, what was good for the state and for the leader may be contradictory to that which is morally good.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aesthetics, art, art object, artistic skill, artistic taste, artistry, arty-craftiness, brainchild, bric-a-brac, classic, composition, connoisseurship, creation, design, dilettantism, epicureanism, epicurism, expertise, expertism, flair, friandise, gastronomy, grotesque, kitsch, master, masterpiece, masterwork, mobile, museum piece, nude, old master, pasticcio, pastiche, piece, piece of virtu, stabile, statue, still life, study, talent, virtuosity, work, work of art
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