Artibus et Historiae no. 77 (XXXIX)

2018, ISSN 0391-9064

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PASCALE DUBUS - Painting the Lifeless Man: The Foreshortened Figure in the Cinquecento (pp. 57–76)

The invention of the perspective in the Quattrocento was associated with the foreshortening – a device applied to the body. Among the various forms of this particular perspective, the foreshortened body, stretched out over a horizontal support or lying on the ground, enjoyed a considerable popularity in the Cinquecento painting. A group of works presented in the paper has helped to examine the genesis, variations and properties of this perspectival device to grasp the meaning of this singular representation of the inanimate figure. Is the foreshortening of inanimate bodies lying on the ground a figurative device or a convention that indicates death of the represented figures, in other words, does it imply those bodies to be dead?

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