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Manhood, Marriage, and MischiefRembrandt's 'Night Watch' and Other Dutch Group Portraits$
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Harry Berger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225569

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.001.0001

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The Posographical Imperative: A Comparison of Genres

The Posographical Imperative: A Comparison of Genres

(p.25) 3 The Posographical Imperative: A Comparison of Genres
Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Harry Berger Jr.

Fordham University Press

The author calls the figures in narrative genres characters in order to distinguish them from the sitters in portrait genres. The sitter's situation differs from that of the characters in such narrative modes as history and Genre painting. David Smith argues that the portrait and Genre genres are easy to distinguish because “people in portraits usually look out at us, as they generally do not in genre painting.” Many sitters, and some characters, do make contact, but the meaning of this contact, and the invitation to the observer, are different for each generic code. Steen's “metapictorial” project, then, is to sharpen the viewer's awareness of the predicament of models holding poses while pretending to interact among themselves.

Keywords:   genres, poses, models, sitters, characters, narrative, portrait

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