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The Self-Aware Image

The Self-Aware Image
An Insight into Early Modern Meta-Painting

Part of Cambridge Studies in New Art History and Criticism

  • Date Published: February 1998
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2003
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521433938


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About the Authors
  • Victor Stoichita challenges the received ideas about the linear progression of Western painting, from the Renaissance, through Mannerism to the Baroque. Eschewing questions of style, he focuses instead on the painting as a framed, transportable, and marketable object that is a specifically modern artistic medium. Arguing that panel painting, from its origins in the Early Renaissance, was a 'self-aware image', Stoichita demonstrates that the artist and his art was often the theme of the painting. He also examines the mirror effect and other 'splitting' strategies such as the mise en abîme and intertextual play. By analysing these modalities of self-reflection, Stoichita offers a new and unexpected view of a period and the art it produced once considered to have been definitively classified.

    • Challenges interpretations of the linear progression of Western painting
    • To date, there is no book which treats this subject
    • First English translation (originally written in French)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Only the rarest of books manages to think freshly about issues of art-making within a historical framework … The Self-Aware Image is such a book … this is a book to be sipped, not gulped. It richly deserves to be pondered and applied by specialists and generalists alike.' The Art Book

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 1998
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521433938
    • length: 365 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 185 x 27 mm
    • weight: 1.173kg
    • contains: 131 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2003
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Surprised Eye:
    1. Embrasures
    2. The birth of still-life as an intertextual process
    3. Margins
    Part II. The Inquiring Eye:
    4. Assemblage
    5. The turning point of painting
    6. The intertextual machine
    Part III. The Methodical Eye:
    7. Paintings, maps and mirrors
    8. Two images: the painter/the act of painting
    9. The reversed painting

  • Author

    Victor Ieronim Stoichita, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland

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