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Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?: On the Modern Origins of Pictorial Complexity

Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?: On the Modern Origins of Pictorial Complexity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With bracing clarity, James Elkins explores why images are taken to be more intricate and hard to describe in the twentieth century than they had been in any previous century. Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? uses three models to understand the kinds of complex meaning that pictures are thought to possess: the affinity between the meanings of paintings and jigsaw-puzzles; the contemporary interest in ambiguity and 'levels of meaning'; and the penchant many have to interpret pictures by finding images hidden within them. Elkins explores a wide variety of examples, from the figures hidden in Renaissance paintings to Salvador Dali's paranoiac meditations on Millet's Angelus, from Persian miniature paintings to jigsaw-puzzles. He also examines some of the most vexed works in history, including Watteau's meaningless paintings, Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling, and Leonardo's Last Supper.

Synopsis:

With bracing clarity, James Elkins explores why images are taken to be more intricate and hard to describe in the twentieth century than they had been in any previous century. Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? uses three models to understand the kinds of complex meaning that pictures are thought to possess.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780415919418
Subtitle:
On the Modern Origins of Pictorial Complexity
Author:
Elkins, James
Publisher:
Routledge
Subject:
Painting
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Criticism - General
Subject:
Painting - General
Subject:
Techniques - Painting
Publication Date:
January 1999
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.37x6.27x1.08 in. 1.50 lbs.

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Painting » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism

Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?: On the Modern Origins of Pictorial Complexity
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Product details 320 pages Routledge - English 9780415919418 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With bracing clarity, James Elkins explores why images are taken to be more intricate and hard to describe in the twentieth century than they had been in any previous century. Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? uses three models to understand the kinds of complex meaning that pictures are thought to possess.
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