The Portrait of the Lover by Maurizio BettiniThe Portrait of the Lover by Maurizio Bettini

The Portrait of the Lover

byMaurizio BettiniTranslated byLaura Gibbs

Hardcover | November 3, 1999

Pricing and Purchase Info

$72.95

Earn 365 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

There are a surprising number of stories from antiquity about people who fall in love with statues or paintings, and about lovers who use such visual representations as substitutes for an absent beloved. In a charmingly conversational, witty meditation on this literary theme, Maurizio Bettini moves into a wide-ranging consideration of the relationship between self and image, the nature of love in the ancient world, the role of representation in culture, and more. Drawing on historical events and cultural practices as well as literary works, The Portrait of the Lover is a lucid excursion into the anthropology of the image.

The majority of the stories and poems Bettini examines come from Greek and Roman classical antiquity, but he reaches as far as Petrarch, Da Ponte, and Poe. The stories themselves—ranging from the impassioned to the bizarre, and from the sublime to the hilarious—serve as touchstones for Bettini's evocative explorations of the role of representation in literature and in culture. Although he begins with a consideration of lovers' portraits, Bettini soon broadens his concerns to include the role of shadows, dreams, commemorative statues, statues brought to life, and vengeful statues—in short, an entire range of images that take on a life of their own.

The chapters shift skillfully from one theme to another, touching on the nature of desire, loss, memory, and death. Bettini brings to the discussion of these tales not only a broad learning about cultures but also a delighted sense of wonder and admiration for the evocative power and endless variety of the stories themselves.
Maurizio Bettini is Professor of Greek and Latin Philology at the University of Siena, Italy, and the author of Anthropology and Roman Culture: Kinship, Time, Images of the Soul (1991), among other works.
Éloge du polythéisme
Éloge du polythéisme

by Maurizio Bettini

$25.95

Ships within 1-2 weeks

Not available in stores

Women and Weasels: Mythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome
Women and Weasels: Mythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome

by Maurizio Bettini

$74.69$93.26

Available for download

Not available in stores

Contro le radici: Tradizione, identità, memoria
Contro le radici: Tradizione, identità, memoria

by Maurizio, Bettini

$8.49$9.75

Available for download

Not available in stores

Shop this author
Title:The Portrait of the LoverFormat:HardcoverDimensions:353 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:November 3, 1999Publisher:University of California PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520208501

ISBN - 13:9780520208506

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Portrait of the Lover

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Bettini traces in loving and intricate detail every possible variation on erotic passion for material images (painted or sculpted, reflections and shadows) offered by the writers of antiquity. . . . Bettini dramatizes brilliantly Graeco-Roman culture's obsession with images."--"Times Literary Supplement