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Vol 25 No 1 Jan/Feb 2020

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Danse Macabre: Temporalities of Law in the Visual Arts

ISBN13: 9781107158665
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £85.00

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The visual arts offer refreshing and novel resources through which to understand the representation, power, ideology and critique of law. This vibrantly interdisciplinary book brings the burgeoning field to a new maturity through extended close readings of major works by artists from Pieter Bruegel and Gustav Klimt to Gordon Bennett and Rafael Cauduro. At each point, the author puts these works of art into a complex dance with legal and social history, and with recent developments in legal and art theory. Manderson uses the idea of time and temporality as a focal point through which to explore how the work of art engages with and constitutes law and human lives. In the symmetries and asymmetries caused by the vibrating harmonic resonances of these triple forces - time, law, art - lies a way of not only understanding the world, but also transforming it.

  • Connects legal ideas to two major new turns in contemporary research - towards time, and visual studies
  • Engages with specific works of art from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century
  • Discusses the intersection of law and art

1. Bruegel's 'Justice': anachronic time
2. Reynolds's justice, Blackstone's laws: diachronic time
3. Governor Arthur's proclamation: utopian time
4. Turner's 'Slave Ship': now time
5. Klimt's 'Jurisprudence': suspended time
6. Bennett's laws: colonial time
7. Cauduro's crimes: ectoplasmic time