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Summary Visual images do have a constitutive role in the formation of culture and as a consequence in rendering cultural stereotypes. Since the communication by ways of pictures became prevalent and overwhelming with the easy distribution of pictures by “mechanical reproduction' (W. Benjamin), it is important to be aware of the nature of images and their relationship to verbal signs. I do share W. J. T. Mitchell's idea that “speech-acts are not medium specific', thus pictures just like words do possess semiotic power; that is they do take part in meaning-making (Bal), as well as in the production and the maintenance of culture, cultural identity and cultural memory. The importance of this recognition lies in the fact that Man is not only the producer, but also the product of culture; since this production is not exclusively linguistically based. Therefore, this paper aims at the examination of the relation of visual images and a text in the transmission of Hungarian stereotypes. I intend to carry out this in a medium that traditionally belongs to the category of “popular culture', yet its status was highly controversial in the time of its production in Hungary. This visual medium is that of the panorama, and the object of my query is Árpád Feszty's famous panorama, entitled “The arrival of the Magyars'. The painting carries its importance in many respects: it is not only an ideal and idealised “representation' of the settling of Hungarian tribes, but more importantly the veiled illustration of Mór Jókai's drama entitled Levente. My paper thus raises questions of the relation of the visual and verbal, of popular and high culture, and of the influence of national identity through verbal and visual imagery.

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Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Authors:
Tünde Gál
,
Zsuzsa Egeressy
,
Dániel Bárth
,
Zoltán Erostyák
,
Imre Nagy
,
Bernadette Bornitz-Papp
,
Sándor Varga
, and
Norberta Sági
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