A stain is the evidence of something that was. It's a trace. A stain may be something quite ordinary: the ink stain on my index finger; the mark of your fingers on this book. A stain may also be embarrassing: lipstick on a cheek; sweat rings under the arms; a bloody discharge. A stain may be forensically incriminating. A stain may be kept for sentimental reasons. Moreover, every stain has its own particular texture. Texture denotes the consistency of a surface and the sensory, often tactile imprint that is left on it. The stain may be absorbed in the thing that supports it; then again, it may stay on the surface, something separate. Every stain is unique. In this essay the author deals with seven factors that make the stain into a powerful model for rethinking the visual: the stain as prototype and prefiguration, the stain as relic, the stain of Veronica, the stain as a psycho-energetic symptom, the stain as pars pro toto for the womb, the stain and le desir mimetique and finally the stain as an image paradigm of the residue.
About the Author
Barbara Baert is Professor in Art History at the University of Leuven. She has been awarded the Francqui Prize 2016 for her outstanding work in Iconology.
Table of Contents
1 Preface 1
2 Prototype and prefiguration 5
3 Relic 17
4 Veronica's, stain 31
5 Anthropological roots. Stain, hem, womb 39
6 Stainology. The psycho-energetic symptom 53
7 Bilderatlas 59
8 Le désir mimétique (Echo calling again) 93
9 Postscriptum 103
Index nominum 115