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What is a Portrait?

Maes, Hans R.V. (2015) What is a Portrait? British Journal of Aesthetics, 55 (3). pp. 303-322. ISSN 0007-0904. E-ISSN 1468-2842. (doi:10.1093/aesthj/ayv018) (KAR id:56967)


In answering the title question this paper will aim for extensional adequacy, that is, it will aim to formulate an account that captures as much of the extension as possible of what we ordinarily think counts as a portrait. Two philosophers have recently, and independently from one another, embarked on the same project. Cynthia Freeland’s theory of portraiture, as it is developed in her book Portraits & Persons, is discussed in sections 1 and 2 of this paper. Sections 3 and 4 offer a critical exploration of Paulo Spinicci’s phenomenological study of portraiture. Finally, in sections 5 and 6, an alternative account of portraiture is presented, one that seeks to address all the objections raised against the two competing theories.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/aesthj/ayv018
Additional information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Aesthetics following peer review. The version of record is available online at:
Uncontrolled keywords: portrait, aesthetics, philosophy of art, definition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Hans Maes
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 18:12 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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