Text and image network and visual metamorphoses

Milton José de Almeida About the author


The purpose of this article is to search for a network of distant images that would be in the visual painting spirit of well-known master Ataíde - Manoel da Costa Ataíde -, who, between 1800 and 1809, painted the central nave of the Church São Francisco de Assis, in Ouro Preto, whose guiding theme is the Assumption of Virgin Mary. We address Memórias Longínquas, images that Ataide may never have seen, and texts that he may never have read, but which pulsate in this painting in a variety of European literary and visual origins from the Middle Ages to our days. An asynchronous cluster that one can look upon with today’s view, as we take his painting as a visual and temporal vortex. Ataíde’s paintings will serve us as display of political and visual forms that linger nowadays across part of the common culture, both in popular and academic culture. Just like other painters of his time from various countries, Ataíde practiced his art under a set of rules while creating and producing images which is also a set of moral and religious rules, a kind of common sense law regarding the esthetic sense of common, popular images. Our concern is not whether Ataíde was a good or a bad painter, or to compare him to the great painters of his time. He does not surpass in technical brilliance or quality of invention. He is an average painter, perhaps even mediocre, who painted what his material and cultural conditions allowed him to. Without great cultural information, he was a representative of the cultural average of his time.

Image; Memory; Moral and religion; Manoel da Costa Ataíde

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