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Look Inside Classical Rhetoric and the Visual Arts in Early Modern Europe

Classical Rhetoric and the Visual Arts in Early Modern Europe


  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107687851

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Caroline van Eck examines how rhetoric and the arts interacted in early modern Europe. She argues that rhetoric, though originally developed for persuasive speech, has always used the visual as an important means of persuasion, and hence offers a number of strategies and concepts for visual persuasion as well. The book is divided into three major sections - theory, invention, and design. Van Eck analyzes how rhetoric informed artistic practice, theory, and perception in early modern Europe. This is the first full-length study to look at the issue of visual persuasion in both architecture and the visual arts, and to investigate what roles rhetoric played in visual persuasion, both from the perspective of artists and that of viewers.

    • The first study to look at the role of rhetoric in the arts and architecture from an integrated perspective
    • Considers both art and architecture
    • Engages with, and builds on, recent developments in visual culture and visual theory studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This important new study draws on well-selected examples to explore the concepts derived from classical rhetoric in the arts and architecture of early modern Europe (15th-18th centuries).' American Journal of Archaeology

    'Caroline Van Eck is well known and well respected for her studies in the history and theory of architecture. … But here she cuts a wider swathe to include painting and sculpture in her examination of the role of rhetoric and the practices of classical rhetoric within what she calls the visual persuasion of the arts in Early Modern Europe. … [An] intelligent and suggestive study.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    'This is a fundamental book on an important but elusive subject. The author examines how the arts of persuasive oratory, well-known through writings by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, influenced the theory and practice of the visual arts and architecture in early modern Europe.' Renaissance Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107687851
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 251 x 175 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: rhetoric and the visual
    Part I. Theory:
    1. Gesture, representation and persuasion in Alberti's De Pictura
    2. Theoretical foundations of persuasive architecture: Barbaro, Spini and Scamozzi
    Part II. Invention:
    3. How to achieve persuasion in painting: the common ground
    4. Visual persuasion in British architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    Part III. Interpretation:
    5. Rhetorical interpretation of the visual arts
    6. Only the human can speak to man: rhetorical interpretations of architecture.

  • Author

    Caroline Van Eck, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
    Caroline van Eck is Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture at Leiden University in The Netherlands. She has received fellowships from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the British Council, and in 2004 was the first art historian to be awarded a prestigious VICI grant from the Dutch Foundation of Scientific Research (NWO). She is the author of Dealing with the Visual: Aesthetics: Art History and Visual Culture and The Concept of Style in Philosophy and the Arts, among other books and articles.

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