Publication details

Physiognomic representations as a rhetorical instrument: ‘portraits’ in San Vittore in Ciel d’Oro, the Galla Placidia ‘Mausoleum’ and San Paolo Fuori le Mura



Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference The Face of the Dead and the Early Christian World
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Art, architecture, cultural heritage
Keywords San Vittore in Ciel d'Oro; Ambrose; Christian Rhetoric
Description This Article is intended as a reflection – based on one particular case – on the role of the mimetic portrait in the fifth century, and on the notion of "original" versus "copy". Given the theme of this conference, I will obviously concentrate on portraits with a mnemonic function. Inevitably, however, the debate will also touch on the question of the portrait in general. Through the examples studied here, I will also try to respond to a question which, to me, seems to be one of the central questions surrounding the portrait in late antiquity: to what extent are the formal choices determined by rhetorical considerations? And more generally, what is the impact of oratory on figurative style?
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