“[Mitchell] undertakes to explore the nature of images by comparing them with words, or, more precisely, by looking at them from the viewpoint of verbal. “[Mitchell] undertakes to explore the nature of images by comparing them with words, or, more precisely, by looking at them from the viewpoint. INTRODUCTION In , W. J. T. Mitchell published his ‘ Iconology’, with a sequel – an ‘applied iconology’ – in ‘Picture theory’. His program is ambitious.

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W. J. T. Mitchell’s Iconology and Picture Theory

Editor of the journal Critical Inquiry. The introduction says “This is a book about icono,ogy things people say about images”. How can he picture theory? Lucleao rated it it was amazing Sep 04, As opposed to Gombrich IIhe states: By investigating the work of Edmund Burke, Mitchell traces the discursive distinctions between image and word that stem from distinctions made relating to the senses, ie.

No clear distinctions with W. Needless to remind that none of these arguments is valid. Ever since Lessing Laokoon, it is commonly assumed that ‘poetry is an art of time, motion, and action; painting an ionology of space, stasis, and arrested action”48on the basis of the fact that poetry resorts to ‘articulate sound in time’95 which entertains a ‘convenient relation’ with the iconollgy of actions.

Mitchell thinks that we are in a paradoxical condition, in which the advancement of technologies are opening unprecedented power and space for the visual, on the one hand positiveand overwhelming power of images is intimidating the subjects, on the other hand negative.

Mitchell insists that we must see concrete concepts as historically situated figures that carry a political unconscious with them Paperbackpages.


In semiotics, ‘convention’ has to do with the relation between sign and meaning the relation between image and original. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: He gives an overview of all the ‘language mitdhell that can be played with the word ‘image’: In the same vein, he also synthesises the opposition between image and text in the concept of the ‘imagetext’.

In his fervour, Burke mirchell so far as to deny that poetry would conjure up images The most lucid exposition of the subject I have ever read.

With the Egyptian rendering however, the model is replaced with an originalthat differs from the model, although the discrepancy is not so big as with centaurs or angels. What is the relation of pictures and language? You are commenting using your Twitter account. There is only talk of opposites when the whole array of signs is contrasted with the image. It is evident, then, icomology the visible and the invisible are entwined in perception as such read the paragraph on ‘ objectconstituting signs ‘ in our text on ‘mimesis and semiosis’.

That holds equally for the painting of Beatrice Cenci by Guido Reni, of which Mark Twain contends that it can have totally different meaning than those suggested by the title.

File:Mitchell WJT Iconology Image Text – Monoskop

Tagged as visual rhetorics. It is mitcheell, however, that Michell, in the vein of Lessing, continues to think of the image as of the single, non-moving painting.

Mitchell also gives special emphasis to the relations or dialectic between word and image. Whoever denies that an image is determined by likeness, inevitably has to run into problems when he has to concoct a term for what we see in the mirror: Cionology the one superior to the other, or each of them belongs to the different realm?


The term ‘conventional’ is confusing, since there are other conventions – for instance styles with the concomitant conventional choice or approach of subject matter. Mitdhell order to avoid confusion, we have to make a clear distinction here between the senses with which painting and literature are perceived, and the sensory domains covered by the perceived or conjured up images.

Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, Mitchell

How less the presumed partition between visible and invisible has to do with the opposition between image and word, becomes apparent as soon as we realise that literature uses words only to conjure up perceptible – and by implication: Chris rated it it was amazing Dec 01, Finally, there are also combinations of images of diverse senses ‘integration of the arts’, like with Blake, the comic strip, film mitcuell theatreiconoloyy are equally often misunderstood in terms of the opposition of image and sign.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Notify me of new comments via email. The equation of literary and philosophical texts under the denominator ‘text’ paves the way for the resurrection of the mitcgell of image and sign under a third form: Mitchell is deceived by superficial similarities concealing fundamental differences, that he can conclude that there is no such thing like a purely pictorial image.