Hans Maes edits collection on portraits and philosophy

Portraits and Philosophy

Dr Hans Maes, Senior Lecturer in the History of Art at the School of Arts, has recently published an edited collections of essays, entitled Portraits and Philosophy (Routledge, 2019).

Portraits are everywhere. One finds them not only in museums and galleries, but also in newspapers and magazines, in the homes of people and in the boardrooms of companies, on stamps and coins, on millions of cell phones and computers. Despite its huge popularity, however, portraiture hasn’t received much philosophical attention. While there are countless art historical studies of portraiture, contemporary philosophy has largely remained silent on the subject. This book aims to address that lacuna. It brings together philosophers (and philosophically minded historians) with different areas of expertise to discuss this enduring and continuously fascinating genre.

The chapters in the collection are ranged under five broad themes. Part I examines the general nature of portraiture and what makes it distinctive as a genre. Part II looks at some of the subgenres of portraiture, such as double portraiture, and at some special cases, such as sport card portraits and portraits of people not present. How emotions are expressed and evoked by portraits is the central focus of Part III, while Part IV explores the relation between portraiture, fiction, and depiction more generally. Finally, in Part V, some of the ethical issues surrounding portraiture are addressed. The book closes with an epilogue about portraits of philosophers.

Other School of Arts’ staff that have also contributed to the collection include: Professor Martin Hammer, Professor of History and Philosophy of Art; Dr Eleen M. Deprez, Studio 3 Gallery Coordinator; and Dr Michael Newall, Senior Lecturer in the History of Art.

For more details, please see the publisher’s page here: