Iconography of the belly:
eighteenth-century satirical prints
If the body is both polysemous and ambivalent, it also serves
more widely as ‘a framework for both knowledge and description
because its different metaphorical levels were capable of describing the entire world, visible and invisible’.1 Countless studies have
examined the social, political, cultural, scientific, cultural and/or
private dimensions of the body, its gesturality and other forms of
expression and even its fluids. The rhetorical expressivity of the
face and hands, for
An ambiguous national
iconography: Family Portrait
A critical shibboleth concerning Jennings’ work holds that his best
or most accomplished films were produced during the war years.
Reflecting this position Lindsay Anderson opened his well-known reap
praisal of Jennings’ career with the argument that the war ‘fertilised
[Jennings’] talent and created the conditions in which his best work was
produced’.1 In the same vein another critic has insisted that ‘war unmis
takably brought out the best in Jennings’.2 Within the terms of such
assessments Jennings’ pre
Iconography of a prison massacre:
drawings by Peruvian Shining Path
In Peru, many artists and their works are still under the strict surveillance of
mainstream art and political institutions. The hostile climate is the product of
a highly polarised country whose state ideological apparatuses are controlled
by fierce opponents of the Partido Comunista del Perú (PCP, Communist
Party of Peru), also known as Sendero Luminoso (SL, Shining Path). In 1963
after the Sino-Soviet split, the PCP began preparing a ‘proletarian revolution’.
Écorchés, moulages and anatomical preparations – the
cadaver in the teaching of artistic anatomy at the Accademia di Belle Arti di
Since the sixteenth century, artistic anatomy – a branch of medical
science subordinated to the Fine Arts – has understood itself as a
comparative investigation halfway between forensic dissection and the analysis
of classical art and live bodies. Its teaching was first instituted in Italy by
the 1802 curriculum of the national Fine Arts academies, but underwent a drastic
transformation at the turn of the century, as the rise of photography brought
about both a new aesthetics of vision and an increase in the precision of
iconographic documentation. In this article I will attempt to provide a history
of the teaching of this discipline at the close of the nineteenth century within
the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, with a focus on its ties to
contemporary French practices. Drawing on archival materials including lesson
plans, letters and notes from the classes of the three medical doctors who
subsequently held the chair (Gaetano Strambio, Alessandro Lanzillotti-Buonsanti
and Carlo Biaggi), I will argue that the deep connections between their teaching
of the discipline and their work at the city hospital reveal a hybrid approach,
with the modern drive towards live-body study unable to wholly supplant the
central role still granted to corpses in the grammar of the visual arts.
Regimes of value associated with the corpse in French nineteenth-century
There are many factors at work in the iconography of human remains. Some of those
frequently discussed are aesthetic criteria, iconographic traditions and
specific contingencies, whether political (for example in war paintings),
symbolic (essential for transi images) or cultural. There is, however, one
factor that is rarely mentioned, despite its centrality: the regime of value
associated with corpses. Christ’s body is not painted in the same way as
that of a departed relative or that used in a human dissection. Artists choose a
suitable iconography depending on how the remains are perceived. This criterion
became absolutely crucial in contexts such as nineteenth-century France, when
attitudes to corpses underwent major changes.
independence in the post-Second World War period cartoonists reappropriated and recrafted imperialist imagery to convey new meanings.
The political cartoons drawn during the 1956 Suez Crisis provide a rich snapshot of this emerging iconography of decolonisation. While historians continue to debate the long-term implications of the crisis, at the time it was viewed as the final gasp of the British and French empires in the Middle East.
The John Rylands Library is an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture,
and is without parallel in Britain as a memorial library. This article situates
the Library‘s foundation at the close of the nineteenth century within the
economic and cultural development of Manchester, the worlds first industrial
city, and within wider trends in library history. Enriqueta Rylands‘s aims in
establishing the Library are analysed, as well as her influence on the design
and construction of the building. The article includes a detailed examination of
the iconography of the building and the innovative use of building services
technology designed to protect the remarkable collections that were amassed by
Mrs Rylands. Later developments are also treated, including the most recent
‘Unlocking the Rylands’ project, 2000-07.
Routledge ), pp. 153 – 68 .
Briggs , L.
( 2003 ), ‘ Mother, Child,
Race, Nation: The Visual Iconography of Rescue and the Politics of
Transnational and Transracial Adoption ’,
Gender & History , 15 :
2 , 179 – 200 .
Burman , E
. Even when
humanitarians rely on stock iconographies of suffering, they always do so in light
of specific aims and in a particular context coloured by a background culture.
For example, in ‘The Limits of Exposure’, Kevin Grant captures how the
moral milieu of reformers and their audience colours the content and mode of
disseminating images. He focuses on how gender norms affected when and how sexual
violence was or was not portrayed in photographs and narratives by the Congo