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The Self-Aware Image: An Insight into Early Modern Meta-Painting (1993)

by Victor Ieronim Stoichita

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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.… (more)
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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.

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