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More than One Picture: An Art History of the Hyperimage

Felix Thürlemann

In exhibitions, illustrated art books, and classrooms, artworks or their photographic reproductions are arranged as calculated ensembles that have their own importance. In this volume, Felix Thürlemann develops a theory of this type of image use, arguing that with each new gathering of images, an art object is reinterpreted. These hyperimages have played a major role in the history of art since the seventeenth century, and the main actors of the art world are all hyperimage creators. In part because the hyperimage is not permanently available, this interplay of images has been largely unexplored. 

Through case studies organized within three groups of producers—collectors and curators, art historians, and artists—Thürlemann proposes a theory of the hyperimage, explores the semiotic nature of this plural image use, and discusses the arrangement and interpretation of such pictures in order to illuminate the phenomenon of Western image culture from the beginning of the seventeenth century until today. His analysis of the ways in which images are assembled and associated provides a crucial context for the explosive present-day deployment of images on digital devices.

Felix Thürlemann is professor of art history at the University of Konstanz.

“From triumphal arch to triptych to collector’s cabinet to Bilderatlas, Felix Thürlemann’s survey of multiple image displays provides an authoritative introduction to a central question in art history: how have collectors, curators, artists, and art historians deployed the array of multiple images to generate meaning? Rich in examples and sensitive to the different potentials of spectatorial experience, this book provides an excellent foundation for further exploration in the way images gather in constellations of genres, styles, and canons of value.”
—W. J. T. Mitchell, author of
Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology andWhat Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images

240 pages
6 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches
11 color and 96 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-625-6

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Research Institute