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Images of law

Stramignoni, Igor ORCID: 0009-0004-8763-3130 (2020) Images of law. LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Papers (1/2020). Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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In this essay, I offer some initial thoughts about what may be roughly called a visual history of law or, more precisely, a history of the visual in law. To put it simply, I am interested to turn to what may be generally called early modern “images of law” – broadly, constellations of artefacts to do with law – with the purpose of taking them seriously. What may those images suggest if taken on their own terms rather than as merely impassive historical evidence of the particular process of conceiving law intellectually or, alternatively, as codes for certain pre-existing messages to be subsequently decoded? In order to answer this question, I start from a particular and relatively little-known picture, moving on to a related literary tract, and then on again to a few of the more familiar early modern visual representations of justice. The point of this exercise is simply to highlight certain alternative ways of approaching artefacts to do with law that may add to those that may come more readily to mind – that is, as objects illustrating or demonstrating the long-standing process of modernisation and written rationalisation of law after the Middle Ages. On approaching those artefacts differently, we discover that they often resist our analyses or interpretations forcing us to engage with them in interesting ways.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
K Law > K Law (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2021 12:36
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:19

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