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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the roles played by rhetoric in the practice and theory of visual persuasion in the visual arts in Europe during the early modern period, particularly in providing terms to discuss the arts and strategies of visual persuasion and the basis for the first modern theories about art. It shows that rhetoric gave importance to visual means of persuasion that in turn facilitated its role in the arts. The chapter first considers rhetoric as a source of terms and concepts to discuss the arts, as well as the various strategies offered by rhetoric for persuasive design. It then discusses the concepts and competences informed by rhetoric that viewers brought to the analysis of art such as painting, particularly the concept of style. Finally, it examines how the use of rhetoric in the arts influences spectatorship.

Keywords: rhetoric, visual persuasion, visual arts, Europe, painting, style, spectatorship

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