Author: Anna Boreczky
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The primary aim of my paper is to reveal the possible role of illustrations in the (re)interpretation of a text as seen in the example of an Ottonian image cycle illustrating a Late Antique adventure story. The work in question is the so-called Apollonius pictus (Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 4), a manuscript fragment consisting of three and a half large parchment leaves that contain the oldest known illustration cycle of the History of Apollonius, king of Tyre (Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri). The images (thirty-eight red line drawings) focus on the protagonists; with the exception of some ships, a few buildings and curtains, there is almost nothing that alludes to the mise-en-scène. In spite of their relative simplicity, the images effectively articulate the meaning of the story by means of the protagonists’ body language. Through the study of their postures and gestures in relation to the text and in the context of other early medieval visual narratives, I arrive at the conclusion that the images offer an alternative reading of the story. This reading gives the leading role to one of the female protagonists, Tarsia, and emphasizes special personality traits and life events that make her similar to saints. Analyzing the communicative function of the illustrations, I shed light on the Ottonian reception and use of classical narrative traditions from a specific perspective.

 

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  • Beke László (Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Művészettörténeti Intézet)
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Acta Historiae Artium
Language English
French
German
Italian
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
1953
Publication
Programme
2021 Volume 62
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
1
Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia
Founder's
Address
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0001-5830 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2608 (Online)

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