I looked at Natura Artis Magistra ("nature is art's teacher"), so I think mens artis is the correct translation of "Art's Mind". How to translate "Art's Mind" (with art in the sense above) to Latin?


You're right, mens artis is "the mind of art". Depending on how you want to use it, you might want a different form of mens. If it's a motto or a name, mens artis is perfect. If there's more context, that might change things. For example, "for the mind of art" would be menti artis.

If you want something that sounds different from "men's" but it's a name, you should choose a different word rather than a different form of mens. The different forms mean different things "me", "I", and "my". One option is animus, which is more spirit than mind.

  • A name but I would welcome a change to mens because it is too easily confused for men's. What are some options? – Julius Baer Mar 2 '20 at 20:16
  • @JuliusBaer I updated the answer. – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 2 '20 at 21:26
  • I wonder if men's artis is problematic. Artis is quite essential because I am interested in technical art. Mens on the other hand is short and indicates A.I. @c-monsour advises against intellectus artis but that would be the concept of mind I would be after. Much like imagination or intuition or knowledge or interpretation or reason, much less soul or perception or memory. – Julius Baer Mar 4 '20 at 8:13
  • @JuliusBaer Then I think your best option is mens artis and you have to live with the possibility of misinterpretation. You can never completely avoid that, and I don't find this situation to be particularly dangerous or likely. – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 4 '20 at 9:42

Another option would be anima artis (the soul of art), depending on the shade of meaning you want.

If you want to leverage ancient associations between the mind and the chest or heart, you could go with pectus artis or cor artis. These would sound a bit anachronistic but also more poetic than your other options.

One thing I would stay away from is intellectus artis. Because while intellectus can mean "intellect" (cf. intellectus agens), when used with artis the much more natural sense is "the meaning of art" (since that reading doesn't require a personification of art).

  • Thank you. If you are a native English speaker, what would be your interpretation of mens artis and would it be disturbing? – Julius Baer Mar 4 '20 at 15:27
  • Not disturbing. "Men" is a common syllable in words that have nothing to do with men. ("Mental", "menstruation","mensuration", "mended".) Also, if you pronounce the Latin properly the first word can't possibly be mistaken for "mens'" since the s transfers to the next word for syllabification purposes, since it starts with a vowel – C Monsour Mar 4 '20 at 18:51
  • @JuliusBaer Also, "mendacious", "mendicant", "amen", "mention", "mentor", "meniscus", "menu". I'm thinking you have nothing to worry about here (and I am a native English speaker). Also, I've never known the opening of the Iliad to cause confusion for English speakers "Menin aeida thea..." – C Monsour Mar 5 '20 at 1:26

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