By Catherine M. Soussloff
This is often the 1st booklet to investigate the artist's biography as a rhetorical shape and literary style instead of as an unassailable resource of truth and data.
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Extra resources for Absolute Artist. The Historiography of a Concept
Once again, I must stress that this way of understanding genre in the visual context comes out of a regard for "the object" (the film) rather than for "the artist" (the director). Genre criticism in the realm of "the object" is familiar to art historians who have studied the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the French Academy introduced "the hierarchy of the genres," or ranking of the representational arts according to subject matter with history painting at the top. 29 However, like art history, film studies and criticism also concern themselves with the maker, or the director, or the auteur as he or she has been variously called, as well as with the object or film.
LUIGI LANZI, The History of Painting in Italy In this chapter the consideration of certain topics found in the biographical tradition results in interpretations about the artist, particular works of art, and texts that intersect with others already generated by an object-oriented art history. The argument proceeds from the position that the structure of the texts and the use made by history writers of the earliest biographies of artists are intertwined. I take Antonio Manetti's Life of Filippo Brunelleschi to be the first text in the genre of the biography of the artist because it can be characterized by models, topics, tropes, and structure that pertain uniquely to the genre.
49 On the Threshold of Historiography 7 3 7 Whether in the text of a biography of Michelangelo or in Life Lessons, "the artist" has a cultural presence that heretofore has seemed beyond speech or discourse. That is the myth that will be explored in the final chapter of this book. It is time to bring back the stench and sweetness of the bodies of the artists, of their histories, of the writing about them, and of their political realities. Let me conclude by examining the expectations that the genre of biography, especially the biography of the artist, elicits from us.
Absolute Artist. The Historiography of a Concept by Catherine M. Soussloff