Schandbilder. Infamie, Diffamierung und die Ethik der 'oeconomia'

Workshop "Bilder, Objekte und Zeichen des Rechts" – Teil II
Organisiert von Carolin Behrmann

Judicial orders are not exclusively determined by texts, but they include images, signs and objects. The legal discourse refers to them in order to substantiate judgments and make them mandatory. Effigies of shame have particular importance here. In the late Middle Ages a pedagogy of shame based on images has targeted the punishment of debtors to provide the law of obligation and the law of contract. Historically, "Schandbilder" or "pitture infamante" thus represent a forensic tool, but they also possess an explosive contemporary dimension as in today's media society they might become means of moral condemnation and defamatory depiction of corrupt persons.

In two parts the workshop focuses on the topic of infamy and defamation on the margins between image, law and economics. It will discuss whether "Schandbilder" today may be considered and analyzed as "public signatures of legal protection" (Brückner). In the first part it will both discuss the link between magic and "Schandbild" or "Bildzauber" in general as well as the importance of penalties of public humiliation in legal practice and its representation in early modern visual media. The studies on the "pittura infamante" and use of images in legal contexts in general, will be discussed in relation to their role for the logic of economy in general. The second part of the workshop focuses on the specific features and characteristics of Schandbilder, discussing especially the text and image relations but also questions of evidence.

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut
Palazzo Grifoni - Seminarraum
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze


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