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Tropes of Revelation in Raphael's "Transfiguration"

Jodi Cranston
Renaissance Quarterly
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Spring, 2003), pp. 1-25
DOI: 10.2307/1262256
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1262256
Page Count: 25
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Tropes of Revelation in Raphael's
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Abstract

The development of the "contrapposto" pose in Renaissance art depends, as is well known, on ancient discussions of the rhetorical figure of antithesis. Such philological associations, however, have drawn attention to the pose as a motif of style, notable only for its gracefulness of form. This essay considers how the turning pose in Raphael's work, rather than merely referring to the rhetorical figure of antithesis, evokes the thematic and structural significance of the trope. The discussion focuses on the turning female in his "Transfiguration" as a figuration of the antithetical event of revelation, where the unknown becomes known.

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