Cynthia Freeland Portraits and Persons

ISBN 13: 9780199234981

Portraits and Persons

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9780199234981: Portraits and Persons

In Portraits and Persons, one of our leading philosophers of art illuminates the fascinating and fundamental questions posed by this enduring art form. Cynthia Freeland's discussion is remarkably free-wheeling. For example, in considering the simple question of whether one can have a portrait of an animal, she ranges from Descartes and Darwin to William Wegman's "May Ray" and David Hockney's dachshunds, and she sheds light on such issues as whether or not animals possess soul, mind, or individuality of character. Indeed, throughout the book, Freeland addresses a whole host of fascinating philosophical problems posed by the art of portraiture. How exactly have artists through the ages managed to depict the inner state of the subject being portrayed? Is it in fact possible for an artist to capture someone's individual "air," their unique aura? And how has science been used to help in this quest? Featuring more than fifty halftones, this is an exhilarating philosophical exploration of portraiture that highlights its important contribution to the complex evolving discourse about human nature.

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About the Author:


Cynthia Freeland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston, Texas. She has published widely on topics in the philosophy of art and film, including But is It Art?

Review:

It is an informative and stimulating read. Susie Hodge, Artist Admirably straightforward, cogent, and thought-provoking. It is what good philosophical writing should be. Charles Saumarez Smith, Literary Review

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Portraits have for centuries been one of the most important art forms. But what do portraits tell us? What do they mean? And what makes a picture into a portrait? In this book, leading art philosopher Cynthia Freeland addresses these questions and more. As she shows, portraits have served two fundamental functions throughout the ages. Firstly, they preserve identity, bringing us closer to loved ones who are either absent or dead. And secondly, they tell us something about the subject being portrayed: not just external things such as what they are wearing, but also about the subject s emotions and inner state. Along the way, she addresses a whole host of fascinating problems posed by the art of portraiture. Can a picture of an animal truly be a portrait? How exactly have artists through the ages managed to depict the inner state of the subject being portrayed? Is it in fact possible for an artist to capture someone s individual air , their unique aura? And how has science been used to help in this quest? As Freeland shows, portraits are far more than just pretty pictures. They are a fundamental way of looking at ourselves and others, raising profound questions about our identity, how it is revealed, and how it can be preserved even after death. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780199234981

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Portraits have for centuries been one of the most important art forms. But what do portraits tell us? What do they mean? And what makes a picture into a portrait? In this book, leading art philosopher Cynthia Freeland addresses these questions and more. As she shows, portraits have served two fundamental functions throughout the ages. Firstly, they preserve identity, bringing us closer to loved ones who are either absent or dead. And secondly, they tell us something about the subject being portrayed: not just external things such as what they are wearing, but also about the subject s emotions and inner state. Along the way, she addresses a whole host of fascinating problems posed by the art of portraiture. Can a picture of an animal truly be a portrait? How exactly have artists through the ages managed to depict the inner state of the subject being portrayed? Is it in fact possible for an artist to capture someone s individual air , their unique aura? And how has science been used to help in this quest? As Freeland shows, portraits are far more than just pretty pictures. They are a fundamental way of looking at ourselves and others, raising profound questions about our identity, how it is revealed, and how it can be preserved even after death. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780199234981

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