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Title:,,Lässt sich aus diesem bilde wohl der charakter der person schliessen?” Ekphrastische strukturen und das frauenbild in Wilhem Meisters Lehrjahre, Die Leiden des Jungen Werther und Emilia Galotti
Author(s):Frohlich, Johannes
Advisor(s):Wade, Mara R.
Department / Program:Germanic Languages & Lit
Discipline:German
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Ekphrasis
German literature
Abstract:This interdisciplinary MA thesis approaches three German literary texts of the second half of the eighteenth century through the lens of contemporary aesthetics, as well as twentieth- century reception theory. Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s art historical text Gedancken über die Nachahmung der Griechischen Wercke in der Mahlerey und Bildhauer-Kunst (1755) fundamentally changed the reception of art during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This new aesthetic approach is theoretically discussed in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Laokoon (1766) and finds literary expression in Lessing’s tragedy Emilia Galotti (1772). The analysis focuses on the function of paintings, specifically portraits, in Lessing’s Emilia Galotti, Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s epistolary novel Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774) and Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795). In these cases, the ekphrastic writing about a piece of art in literary texts functions as a verbal representation of an absent visual object. The thesis analyzes female portraits in terms of the beholder and the painted object, gender representation, and spatial and temporal determination. The ekphrastic strategies of these texts not only present women as passive objects, but also reveal the beholder’s highly subjective reception of art. These literary works offer important insights into contemporary art historical texts.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49655
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Johannes Frohlich
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
2016-09-22
Date Deposited:2014-05


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