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


Published by university of California Press, 1993
ISBN 10: 0520069072 / ISBN 13: 9780520069077
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Eloquence of Color : Rhetoric and ...

Publisher: university of California Press

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: HRD

Book Condition: Fine


Hardcover, very good condition, 23.5x15.5cm, 269pp, dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # a21886

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Synopsis: 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.

From the Inside Flap: "An outstanding book, one of the most intelligent, penetrating, and intellectually rigorous studies of pictorial theory in the literature of art history."--Michael Fried, author of Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and the Beholder in the Age of Diderot

"Jacqeline Lichtenstein's groundbreaking contribution to intellectual history reconstructs the history of the age-old debate between philosophy and rhetoric, discourse and images, drawing and color, truth and delight. She shows how, in opposition to the Platonic suspicion of eloquence and colour, 17th-century French aesthetics discovers that painting involves deception more than imitation and delight rather than logic. Impressively erudite, Lichtenstein is also a seductive writer. A book about the pleasure of seeing and the pleasure of reading."--Thomas Pavel, author of The Feud of Language: A History of Structuralist Thought

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