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Image and MythA History of Pictorial Narration in Greek Art$
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Luca Giuliani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226297651

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226025902.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 November 2021

Images and Texts Compared

Images and Texts Compared

A Diagnosis of Contrasts

(p.1) Chapter 1 Images and Texts Compared
Image and Myth

Luca Giuliani

, Joseph O’Donnell
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the narrative nature and content of mythological images and aims to show how to distinguish narrative images from nonnarrative ones. It argues that, without a clear idea of this nonnarrative antithesis, the distinctiveness of the narrative mode of representation itself remains unclear. This issue was already addressed in the mid-eighteenth century by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in his treatise Laocoon: An Essay upon the Limits of Painting and Poetry. Lessing systematically compared narration and description as two fundamental possibilities of representation that are both antithetical and complementary. Laocoon provided both a significant impulse and a conceptual framework for this book. Since this framework will not be explicitly addressed in the following chapters, it is important to recall here the major features of Lessing's argument, not least to emphasize those points that are in need of revision and reformulation.

Keywords:   mythological images, narrative images, nonnarrative antithesis, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, narration, description, representation

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