Concealing and Revealing Pictures in "Small Volumes": Portrait Miniatures and their Envelopes = Ocultando y mostrando imágenes en “pequeños volúmenes”: las miniaturas retrato y sus envoltorios

Marianne Koos

Resumen


This paper examines a group of artifacts that are paradigmatic for images worn on the body: the portrait jewel. In particular the article focuses on the envelopes in which English Renaissance portrait miniatures – like human bodies – were protected. Historical sources reveal very different materials: Besides paper, silk, ivory or velvet we find jeweled metal containers that made it possible to fix the portrait on one’s own body. The article analyzes how, both in images of an official and very intimate nature, these jeweled artifacts interact with the wearer’s body. It does so by focusing on the process of handling: Portrait jewels always demanded an act of opening and closing, of turning and folding, through which they ‘unfolded’ their specific semantics – and their very agency. How exactly these tiny items could model, transform and question binary relations of object and subject is finally shown with a ‘close reading’ of the Heneage Jewel, the most complex of these artifacts.

 

Este documento examina una serie de objetos que representan ejemplos de imágenes que se llevan sobre el cuerpo: las joyas-retrato. En particular, el artículo se centra en los envoltorios con los que las miniaturas-retrato del Renacimiento Británico - al igual que el cuerpo humano - estaban protegidas. Las fuentes históricas nos revelan materiales muy distintos: además del papel, la seda, el marfil o el terciopelo, encontramos contenedores metálicos enjoyados que permitían llevar el retrato sobre el propio cuerpo. El artículo analiza cómo, tanto en imágenes de naturaleza oficial como muy íntima, estos objetos enjoyados interaccionan con el cuerpo del usuario. Esto tiene lugar centrándose en su proceso de manipulación: las joyas-retrato siempre requerían de una acción de apertura y cierre, de giro y plegado, a través de la cual desplegaban su significado específico así como su propio cometido. El cómo exactamente estas diminutas piezas podían modelarse, transformarse y cuestionar sus relaciones binarias entre objeto y sujeto, se demuestra finalmente con una lectura pormenorizada de la joya Heneage, la más compleja de estas piezas.


Palabras clave


Joyas-retrato; miniaturas; interacción; inglés; Renacimiento =

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Referencias


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5944/etfvii.6.2018.22873

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