The Eloquence of Color: Rhetoric and Painting in the French Classical Age

The Eloquence of Color: Rhetoric and Painting in the French Classical Age

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Overview

In this richly suggestive contribution to the theory of art, Jacqueline Lichtenstein discusses the importance of color in reconciling ancient differences between rhetoric and painting. The visible world had been suspect since Plato accused the Sophists of relying on rhetorical show, of being in effect makeup artists. Before the 17th century, these differences were manifest in a valorization of design over color.

But in the 17th century, the image suddenly becomes an essential agent of thought. Rhetorical color is revalued along with color in painting, with cosmetics, and with all that belonged to the feminine, as a sensual force necessary to reconcile reason and pleasure, action and passion. Lichtenstein thus identifies a major shift in European theories of meaning, of gender, and of the relationship between the word and the image.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520069077
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/04/1993
Series: New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics Series , #18
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 269
Product dimensions: 6.29(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

Jacqueline Lichtenstein is Associate Professor of French at the University of California, Berkeley.

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