Title :

The fountain of Narcissus : the invention of subjectivity and the Pauline ontology of art in Caravaggio and Rembrandt

Author :
BRAIDER, Christopher ;
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
First, points to the parallel reductions of painting to literary example effected in 16th-17th c. aesthetic writings and in the historical and semiotic theory of today. Against this background, looks at two pictures by painters famous precisely for their uncompromising resistance to poetic taste: Caravaggio's The Conversion of S. Paul (Rome, S. Maria del Popolo) and Rembrandt's late Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). The invocation of Pauline example in both is doubly significant: attesting to the continuing place of textual imitation, and appealing to the iconoclastic force of the Pauline texts themselves. Attention to the Pauline authority helps us see how this iconoclastic relation to historical imitation is grounded in the metaphysics of painterly as opposed to historical or poetic mimesis: a metaphysics of immanence that endorses commitment to worldly nature reproduced in the fallen state from which poetic transcendence would raise it. By challenging the reductions to which both the ut pictura poesis tradition and our own more cynical sense of aesthetic expression subject pictorial art, these two paintings enable us to acknowledge both the aesthetic integrity and the philosophical force with which early modern painting is invested. ;
Pagination/Size :
12 ill. ;
Topic :
French keywords :
Amsterdam (NLD), Rijksmuseum ; Autoportrait ; Autoportrait en saint Paul ; Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da, 1571-1610 ; Conversion de saint Paul ; Esthétique ; Iconographie ; Italie ; Mimesis ; Paul, saint ; Pays-Bas ; Peinture ; Philosophie ; Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1606-1669 ; Roma (ITA), S. Maria del Popolo ; Saints ; Sémiotique ; Subjectivité ; Ut pictura poesis ; 1600-1700 ;
Descriptors :
Aesthetics ; Amsterdam (NLD), Rijksmuseum ; Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da, 1571-1610 ; Conversion of S. Paul ; Iconography ; Italy ; Mimesis ; Netherlands ; Painting ; Paul the Apostle, S. ; Philosophy ; Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1606-1669 ; Roma (ITA), S. Maria del Popolo ; Saints ; Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul ; Self-portraits ; Semiotics ; Subjectivity ; Ut pictura poesis ; 1600-1700 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Comparative literature, 1998, 50, 4, fall
INIST identifier :
24968862 ;
ISSN 0010-4124 ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Publisher country :