This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
We take for granted that words can describe pictures, but we don’t often consider that the reverse is also true: pictures can depict words, as well as the people reading them. In The Look of Reading, Garrett Stewart explores centuries of painted images of reading, arguing that they collectively constitute an overlooked genre in the history of art.
A stunning array of artists—including Rembrandt, Picasso, Cassatt, and Caravaggio, among many others—have worked in this genre during the past five hundred years. With innovative interpretations of their work, ranging from Bellini’s open Bibles to Bacon’s mangled newsprint, Stewart examines the give-and-take between reading matter depicted in painting and the “look of reading” on the portrayed face. He then traces this kind of interaction from the sixteenth century, when pictured reading generally illustrated people reading holy scriptures, to later periods, when secular painting started to represent the inwardness and absorption associated especially with novel reading. Ultimately, Stewart shows how the subject fell out of such paintings altogether in the late twentieth century, replaced by words, scrawls, and blurs that put the viewer in the place of the reader.
Lavishly illustrated with the paintings it discusses, The Look of Reading charts the life and death of an entire genre. Essential reading for art historians and literary theorists alike, it will become the definitive study of this overlooked aspect of the relationship between images and words.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Garrett Stewart is the James O. Freedman Professor of Letters in the Department of English at the University of Iowa and the author of numerous books on fiction and film.Review:
“The Look of Reading is Garrett Stewart at his indefatigable best. A characteristically rich, densely argued, often brilliantly observed consideration of pictures of reading and their transformations under the pressures of modernity.” (Michael Fried, Johns Hopkins University)
“A picture of someone reading: who would have imagined that this seemingly commonplace subject in Western art could take us so far into the enigmatic relations between word and image, self and other, life and death, the sacred and profane? Garrett Stewart’s new book is a work of ardent imagination, unimpeachable scholarship, and flaring, often pyrotechnic, brilliance. To read what he says about looking, indeed to look with him at Western art’s compulsive “scenes” of reading, is to see far and deep into literacy itself, and to appreciate anew the astonishing impact the written word has had on both human culture and modern subjectivity. A sumptuous, untrammeled, and inspiring work of intellectual discovery.” (Terry Castle, Stanford University)
“A formidable, remarkably wide-ranging, erudite, and powerfully original study of a phenomenon that vividly straddles the very border between literature and visual art.”(James Heffernan, Dartmouth College)
“This book is as fully interdisciplinary as the visual genre it defines is radically intermedial, and the extraordinary level of synergy that Stewart’s exposition sustains is enough to animate a humanist’s dream of cold fusion. Here are virtuoso readings of dozens of panels, canvases, and photographs, linked into a strongly theorized story, four centuries long, about the way artists poising the depicted reader at an interart crossroads under incessant technological and social reconstruction have made her depict a lot more than that. Stewart’s vividly meditated instances show what promise attaches to mixed-media genre study, in pursuit of which his combined gifts of deep learning and high ingenuity will set a bracing standard.”(Herbert Tucker, University of Virginia)
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110226773949
Book Description U of Chicago Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Out of print book. Seller Inventory # 87445
Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2006. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0226773949
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0226773949