Gegenwart und Zukunft Die Endzeit und ihre Zuschauer in den Fünfzehn Zeichen vor dem Jüngsten Gericht
PDF, 18 pages
Spectators and audience are constructions of the past. They are present at historical events, witness history and even verify records of the past. The eyewitness has already seen and carries his testimony into present or future. But within the motive of the Fifteen Signs before Doomsday the circumstances are inverse: Here the spectators appear in the uttermost future, that is shortly before the end of the world is to come. At this point the positions of witness and commentator must be questioned by examining conditions and mutual effects between the depicted audience and the levels of time which the picture is referring to.
The invention of depicting figures participating in an event — nameless bystanders, beholders, and onlookers — marks an important change in the ways artists addressed the beholder of the artworks themselves. This shift speaks to a significant transformation of the relationship between images and their audience. The public in the picture acts as mediator between times, persons, and contents. The contributions of this volume describe this moment from a diachronic and transcultural perspective, while each of them focuses on a specific group of works revealing a new moment in this history. They explore the cultural contexts of the political and religious public, and relate the rise of the public in the picture to the rise of perspectival representation (Panofsky’s space-box and Kemp’s Chronotopos).