The Subject of the Portrait Introduction: The Subject of the Portrait
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the two essays published in this book. In the two essays, the author reads the art of the portrait in terms of an ontology of the subject while construing the subject's being in terms of its artistic portrayal. He argues that subject and portrait are to be inscribed in each other, and he sketches in broad strokes the intertwining histories of each. Inthe author's portrait of portraiture, the history of portraiture (which is illustrated with a selective Ahnengalerie, or gallery of portraits) gives access to a history of the subject, and the converse. While the author's depiction of these histories remains just a sketch, it provides a rigorous conceptual orientation for both art-historical and philosophical discussions of the portrait and its subject.
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