The portrait is defined by the postulate of similarity; the interpretation of a likeness, however, does not stop with the identification of depicted persons. In this book, acclaimed authors approach the portrait genre from visual studies and linguistic perspectives, which led them on an impressive journey through time from the Middle Ages to the present and into the future. The portrait is explored as a complex result of the triad of model, artist, and recipient. From this perspective, the wordlessness of visual depictions proves erroneous, as portraits develop their own forms of expression and codes, which aim at dialog with the viewer. The face is thus not understood as a given feature of nature, but as a symbol or concept; looking at, interpreting, and reading faces is intrinsically connected with the search for human identity. This collection of essays is edited by Mona Körte, Ruben Rebmann, Judith Elisabeth Weiss, and Stefan Weppelmann on behalf of Gemäldegalerie – Berlin State Museums and the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin.
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The Gemäldegalerie is the art museum where the main selection of paintings belonging to the Berlin State Museums is displayed, holding one of the world’s leading collections of European paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries. It is located in Berlin, Germany.
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