The True Vine: On Visual Representation and the Western Tradition (Cambridge Studies in New Art History and Criticism)

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9780521341448: The True Vine: On Visual Representation and the Western Tradition (Cambridge Studies in New Art History and Criticism)
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This highly unconventional study exceeds the conventional demarcations between history and criticism in order to provide a survey of some of the crucial themes of Western art. It focuses on three main issues; the use of grapes as a pictorial motif, the recurrent myth of self-reflection typified by the story of Narcissus, and the notion of historical sequence as it is found in the medieval legend of the True Cross. The author breaks free from chronological constraints to emphasise the interconnections between representational forms from the High Middle Ages to the present day. The purpose of the book, which contains discussions of Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Poussin, and Cezanne, among others, is to bring out the reciprocal connections between the art of the past and the art of our own period, and to demonstrate the need for a critical approach that will identify the current features of the Western tradition.

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"Bann's book has a literary quality all its own. He is a subtle and powerful practitioner of ekphrasis, or the art of describing works of art...He shows how complex meanings are drawn from the viewer's mostly unconscious reservoir of content." Thomas D'Evelyn, The Christian Science Monitor

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ISBN 10: 0521341442 ISBN 13: 9780521341448
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