Benjamin Anderson, “Montaigne, Klontzas and the Critique of Oracles”

Benjamin Anderson (History of Art and Visual Studies) will present a Visual Culture Colloquium on Tuesday, March 14, at 4:30 p.m. in G22 Goldwin Smith Hall. Event listing here.

A robust tradition of oracular images –  made in the past and understood to contain knowledge of the future – emerged in early medieval Constantinople; by the later middle ages it had split in two, with a Latin branch claiming to foretell future popes, a Greek branch future emperors (later sultans). The two strands were drawn back together ca. 1590 (and independently) by the Cretan artist Georgios Klontzas and the French essayist Michel de Montaigne. Both juxtapositions are forms of “critique,” but point to opposite conceptions of pictorial knowledge.