Per una archeologia degli indiscernibili: Danto e i Libri Carolini

Chiara Cantelli


Presence and Likeness – two conceptual terms which, according to Arthur Danto, refer to radically different figurative relationships: to the holy image the former, and to the image turned into artwork the latter – are closely intertwined in the doctrine of images issued from the second Council of Nicea and lend the sacred representation a strangely hybrid connotation. In Danto’s terms, one could define it as “ambiguously disturbational” for being an image which, although unable to separate itself completely from the magic-related roots of the post-Justinian icon which had been followed by the first wave of iconoclasm, contains nonetheless in itself the germs that make it potentially capable of leading to a metaphoric-fictional comprehension of its relationship to its own prototype. At the end of the 8th century these germs were seized and developed in the Libri Carolini which set forth a theory of the religious image so akin to Danto’s philosophy of art as to present itself as a sort of ante litteram foreshadowing of that philosophy.



Image; Presence/Likeness; Danto; Libri Carolini

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