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The Resource Mantegna and painting as historical narrative, Jack M. Greenstein

Mantegna and painting as historical narrative, Jack M. Greenstein

Label
Mantegna and painting as historical narrative
Title
Mantegna and painting as historical narrative
Statement of responsibility
Jack M. Greenstein
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In this study, Jack M. Greenstein draws on Early Renaissance art theory, modern narratology, translation studies, critical theory, the philosophy of history, and biblical hermeneutics to explicate the sense and significance of one of Andrea Mantegna's most enigmatic and influential works, the Uffizi Circumcision of Christ. Faced with a work that resists established methods of iconographical analysis, Greenstein reassesses the nature and goals of high humanist narrative painting. The result is a new, historically grounded theory of iconography that calls into question many widely held assumptions about the social and intellectual value of Early Renaissance art. Greenstein's theory rests on a careful analysis of Leon Battista Alberti's commentary On Painting, which equated both the form and the content of artistically composed painting with historia. Situating this equation within a centuries-old discourse on the multivalent significance of the Bible, Greenstein shows that, for Alberti, historia was a mode of artistic narrative, common to literature and painting, in which moral truths were presented to the corporeal senses, particularly to vision, in the guise of plausible human actions. In Greenstein's reading, the painter's primary task was the construction of a visually plausible narrative that effectively conveyed the higher meanings of historia. Having thus delineated the structure of significance in Albertian painting, Greenstein shows what was at stake when a painter of Mantegna's historical bent undertook to produce a historia. As one of the leading historical thinkers of his age, Mantegna imbued his depicted scenes with the plausibility of historical events by employing those codes of evidence, causality, and historical distance that underlay the Renaissance sense of the past. But the Circumcision of Christ resisted such treatment because the symbolic conventions developed by earlier artists for conveying the higher theological meanings of the theme were incompatible with the representational fidelity embraced by painters of historia. Mantegna overcame these difficulties by arriving at a new understanding of the Circumcision, which remained faithful to the narrative structure as well as the theological content of the biblical account. His interpretation was widely adopted by later artists, but was so pictorial in nature that, despite its consistency with the biblical account, it remained with-out parallel in theological literature. Greenstein's discovery--that artistic production of Albertian painting was a specialized and singularly visual form of thinking whose roots lay more in readerly hermeneutics than in perception, commerce, or common visual experience--raises questions about narrative, representation, and the textuality of art that will interest a wide array of scholars
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Greenstein, Jack Matthew
Dewey number
759.5
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
ND623.M3
LC item number
G7 1992
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Mantegna, Andrea
  • Jesus Christ
  • History in art
Label
Mantegna and painting as historical narrative, Jack M. Greenstein
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 223-290) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: Reading Renaissance Painting -- 1. The Significance of Historia in Antiquity and the Middle Ages -- 2. Alberti's View of the Structure of Significance in Pictorial Narrative -- 3. Historia and Mantegna's Sense of the Past -- 4. Representational Ambiguities in Mantegna's Circumcision of Christ. Appendix: On Which Part of the Temple Is Shown -- 5. Reading and Representing the Biblical Text: Vagaries of the Literal Sense -- 6. Making Narrative Sense of Significance: Iconographies of the Circumcision before Mantegna -- 7. Representational Imperatives and the Subject of Mantegna's Circumcision of Christ -- 8. Mantegna's Circumcision of Christ as Historical Narrative
Control code
24318822
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xiv, 301 pages
Isbn
9780226307077
Lccn
91032451
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(WaOLN)1444885
Label
Mantegna and painting as historical narrative, Jack M. Greenstein
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 223-290) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: Reading Renaissance Painting -- 1. The Significance of Historia in Antiquity and the Middle Ages -- 2. Alberti's View of the Structure of Significance in Pictorial Narrative -- 3. Historia and Mantegna's Sense of the Past -- 4. Representational Ambiguities in Mantegna's Circumcision of Christ. Appendix: On Which Part of the Temple Is Shown -- 5. Reading and Representing the Biblical Text: Vagaries of the Literal Sense -- 6. Making Narrative Sense of Significance: Iconographies of the Circumcision before Mantegna -- 7. Representational Imperatives and the Subject of Mantegna's Circumcision of Christ -- 8. Mantegna's Circumcision of Christ as Historical Narrative
Control code
24318822
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xiv, 301 pages
Isbn
9780226307077
Lccn
91032451
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(WaOLN)1444885

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