The Fiction of the Pose and the Functions of Portraiture….
- The viewer must become an armchair archaeologist in viewing portraits. How does this article define that role?
- Do you believe that the image is the result of collaboration between the artist and the subject?
- What are the possible pitfalls of this definition of a portrait?
- Do you agree with Barthes or the author regarding the ‘mortiferous’ aspects of a portrait?
- Do all portraits bear the imprint of the scopic encounter? How does this view upset the taxonomy proposed by Martin in the last article we read?
- What are some of the functions of portraiture that we have considered thus far? How many of them embody a thin veneer of virtue that was meant to inspire imitation by the beholder?
- Castiglione and the art of the Courtier keep cropping up in our discussion. The ability to convey an air of sprezzatura (effortless grace or naturalness) and the ability to fake it, as it were, were essential for the Renaissance man. How does “posing” alter our discussion of portraiture?
- Does Berger’s “fiction of the pose” work when he turns to Dutch portraiture/genre painting?
- What are the ramifications of Berger’s ideas for the beholder? For the subject? For the artist?
- What about the effect of the fiction of the pose on gender? Do you find his ideas convincing?
- Can you discern any national proclivities in the functions of portraiture?
- What types of portraits were suitable as gifts? When did an image serve as a proxy? Why has portraiture always been such a powerful political instrument?