Analysing the decorative programmes of the most opulent European palaces of the time, Margaretha Rossholm Lagerloef investigates how meaning was conveyed through display and visual effects. She explores the visual meaning inherent in the scheme of spatial relations; in effects of scale, perspective, lighting, figures' positions and postures; and in relations among image types. The analysis concerns the interrelations of various kinds of images in the ensembles; the relations between images and physical site; and the address to the beholder. Lagerloef considers the visual impact of the imagery in conjunction with 'readable' or symbolically 'coded' meanings; thus, the study does not merely subject these decorations to formalist aesthetic principles. She shows the visual meaning generally to sustain the verbal or readable messages, but often in subtle ways, extending or elaborating the meaning. Occasionally, the visual meaning comes forth as an undercurrent or complication, deviating from the proclaimed and symbolic meaning. Fate, Glory, and Love in Early Modern Gallery Decoration contributes to the body of scholarship on visual rhetoric and on how images 'act' out their messages.
Margaretha Rossholm Lagerloef is Professor of Art History at Stockholm University, Sweden.
Contents: Introduction; La Galerie de FranAois 1er at Fontainebleau (1530-1539) - the balance of fortune; The Galleria Farnese in Rome (1597-1600): knowing the human passions; La Galerie des Glaces at Versailles (1678-1684): omnipotence in reflection; Karl XI's gallery in Stockholm (1694-1702): Nordic light; Final discussion: the four cases as configurations of meaning; Bibliography; Index.