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Renaissance Patterns


Grundmuster: Ausdrucksfunktionen des monochromen Hintergrundes im Renaissanceporträt

Markus Rath

Published online:

04 Mar 2024



Monochrome backgrounds represent a consistent “pattern” in Renaissance painting. Until now, these backgrounds have mostly been understood as neutral, secondary, or arbitrary. This paper proposes different classification approaches to capture the diverse pictorial potentials and artistic expressive functions. The two-dimensional background forms a visual counterpart to the portrayed person by shaping the immediate surrounding space. It offers a field of appearance in which and with which the individual simultaneously figures and interferes. As a media-reflexive iconic pictorial device, the shapeless ground is based on multi-layered pictorial traditions, conventions, and connotations.

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Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte Issues

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