The Posographical Imperative: A Comparison of Genres

Harry Berger Jr.

in Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240937 | DOI:
The Posographical Imperative: A Comparison of Genres

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The author calls the figures in narrative genres characters in order to distinguish them from the sitters in portrait genres. The sitter's situation differs from that of the characters in such narrative modes as history and Genre painting. David Smith argues that the portrait and Genre genres are easy to distinguish because “people in portraits usually look out at us, as they generally do not in genre painting.” Many sitters, and some characters, do make contact, but the meaning of this contact, and the invitation to the observer, are different for each generic code. Steen's “metapictorial” project, then, is to sharpen the viewer's awareness of the predicament of models holding poses while pretending to interact among themselves.

Keywords: genres; poses; models; sitters; characters; narrative; portrait

Chapter.  5637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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