Imago Dei: Metaphorical conceptualization of pictorial artworks within a participant-based framework

Semiotica 2020 (236-237):349-376 (2020)
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This article presents an exploratory analysis of the metaphoric structure of five artistic paintings within “Think aloud” protocols, in which a group of 14 English speakers with a low self-rated level of expertise in art and history of art expertise were asked to verbalize all their thoughts, ideas and impressions of the artworks. The main findings of this study can be summarized as follows: (1) multiple interpretations for the same artwork are possible, (2) the interpretations of the metaphorical structures described by the participants often diverge from those advanced by the researchers. These findings challenge the methods by which metaphor identification and analysis in pictorials is currently approached. As a matter of fact, most of the research in pictorial metaphors tends to reduce stimuli such as artistic paintings to unique metaphoric interpretations generally produced by a single researcher by means of introspection. By addressing this methodological problem in metaphor research, this article contributes to the development of a theoretical and operational participant-based framework that takes into account the role of metaphoric conceptualization within the domain of art and art cognition.



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Amitash Ojha
International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (Alumnus)

References found in this work

Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.
Metaphor.Max Black - 1954-1955 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55:273-294.
The Philosophy of Rhetoric.I. Richards - 1937 - Philosophical Review 46:676.

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