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Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Dear students,
starting from Friday April 12th, prof. Desmond Manderson (Australian National University) will give a series of lectures on Law and the Visual. You can find below the list of images and readings: enjoy!

It is a puzzle why we seem to turn a blind eye to how law is imagined, represented, and challenged in other cultural forms.  Very little attention has yet been paid, for example, to law as it is represented or constituted in images.  Law imagines itself to be resolutely hermetic, textual and linguistic.  Yet our cultures are saturated in the images and icons of art - privileged forms for the transmission and interrogation of social and institutional norms for millenia.  And visual media and mediations increasingly dominate our experience in the 21st century.  The lawyers and jurists of the future will have to be sophisticated viewers and critics of all sorts of visual discourses. These seminars take a first step at understanding important historical and conceptual aspects of law from just that point of view.

SEMINAR OUTLINE AND READINGS (pay attention: some readings are compulsory, some others are additional) 

12th Apr. The cultural representation of law – introduction and methodology
Required: Costas Douzinas, Law and the Image
Additional: Desmond Manderson, Desert Island DisksNicholas Kasirer, Larger Than Life

17th Apr. The blinding of justice
Images: Albrecht Durer, Sol Justitiae (1499); and from Sebastien Brant, Ship of Fools (1494), Lucas Cranach, The Law and the Gospel (1529), Pieter Brueghel, Justice from the Seven Virtues (1559)
Required: Judith Resnik, Representing Justice
Additional: Martin Jay, Must Justice be Blind?Peter Goodrich, Evidence of Things Unseen

18th Apr. Spectacle and the Sovereign
Images: Abraham Bosse/Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651), Marcus Gheerhaerts the Younger, The Ditchley Portrait (1592), Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV (1701) and Chateau de Versailles
Required: Louis Marin, Portrait of the King
Additional: Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish

19th Apr. Representing and representation: Colonialism and the rule of law
Images: Governor Arthur’s Proclamation (1828), Ngurrara Canvas (1997), Rafael Cauduro, Murales, Suprema Corte de Justicia (2010)
Required: Kirsten Anker, The Truth in Painting
Additional: Stephen Ryan, The Cartographic Eye

24th Apr. Sovereignty Revivat?
Images: T. O’Sullivan, Harvest of Death (1863) in A. Gardner, Sketchbooks of the War (1866) Frank Hurley, Dawn at Passchaendale (1917) Game Box, Six Days at Fallujah (2009)
Required: Richard Sherwin, Visualizing the Neo-Baroque
Additional: Desmond Manderson, Three episodes from the scopic regime of sovereigntyNicholas Mirzoeff, Invisible Empires 

Professor Desmond Manderson is an international leader in interdisciplinary scholarship in law and the humanities. He is the author of several books including From Mr Sin to Mr Big (1993); Songs Without Music: Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice (2000); Proximity, Levinas, and the Soul of Law (2006); andKangaroo Courts and the Rule of Law—The legacy of modernism (2012). His work has led to essays, books, and lectures around the world in the fields of English literature, philosophy, ethics, history, cultural studies, music, human geography, and anthropology, as well as in law and legal theory. Throughout this work Manderson has articulated a vision in which law's connection to these humanist disciplines is critical to its functioning, its justice, and its social relevance. After ten years at McGill University in Montreal, where he held the Canada Research Chair in Law and Discourse, and was founding Director of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, he returned to Australia to take up a Future Fellowship in the colleges of law and the humanities at ANU. 


  1. Through the interpretation given to us by Professor Manderson today we found a profile of the law more "alive" and dynamic. This is due to the art, for which there is no limit of categorization or classification that could stop. Douzinas in his introduction of "Law and Aesthetic" made me reflect before the lesson: from the point of view of the jurist nothing exists outside the law. Even the art, to be taken seriously, it must be "taken and dropped" in the sea of law. The legal experts needs to give to everything around they, to be able to live, a legal significance. Art, doesn't need that. Art has a point of view that start already basic to 360°. The art affects everything and everyone, there is nothing that escapes, we are all potential subjects and objects of art. Looking out of teaching: this is freedom, this is art.

    I was really impressed by the painting by Klimt treated at the end of class. I wasn't able to comment on it aloud. Distressing! I recalled the figure of Justice in the text we have analyzed in class on Wednesday with Prof. Gialdroni. Klimt's work remember me something I treated in high school: "La scarcerazione di Vettor Pisani" ( where the crowd, like the octopus of Klimt, envelops the main subject, but for a different motion : she, unlike the octopus of Klimt, reject it, she doesn't swallow.

    Causally, studying this subject, I then discovered a very interesting topic that has been represented in several works: the interaction between peace and justice. Here's what I found, five works of the same period of history very interesting and beautiful.

    "Justice and Peace" (around 1700) by Corrado Giaquinto (

    "The Kiss of Peace and Justice" (1654) by Laurent de La Hyre (
    "Justice and Peace kiss each other" (

    "Justice (or Prudence, Justice, and Peace)" (1662) by Jürgen Ovens (

    "Allegory of Justice and Prudence" (around 1600) of Bartholomeus Spranger (

    "Justice to embrace peace" (around 1600) of Jacopo Palma Il Giovane (

    The painting of Giaquinto (I admit, my favorite among them) is full of symbolism: the cherubs (little angel, putto) that separate the two main figures of the war in the background. Then below peacefully coexist the lion and the lamb. Up instead, a dove illuminates everything.

    Finally, by chance I found this passage from the Bible that is a good caption to the works I found (Psalm 84 verses 11 and 12) :
    "Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth Shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven Shall."

  2. I'm sorry! To simplify the comment I've "shortened" the works' link with Bitly but now it doesn't open anything if you click on it. You have to copy and paste the link. I'm sorry!

  3. A few more words about the representation of Jurisprudence by G. Klimt, artist I particularly appreciate.

    In 1896, whereas G. Klimt is charged to decorate the Aula Magna of the University of Vienna on the very classical theme of 'Victory of Lightness (as in Enlightment) upon Darkness (as in Chaos)' - yes, this personal translation could obviously have been better, it appeared like our breaker of common morals reitered once again the challenge of installing his new art-approach of society: to show the (very) bad parts in order for his public to search for, to think about, to rescue the good ones?
    That is how he ended up presenting the controversial 'Jurisprudenz' painting, third of the paintings presented at the eighteenth Secession Exhibition in November 1903, as all but a positive view of Justice (although very expected).

    What is Jurisprudence as for Klimt, if not the achievement of every civilized and modern societies ?
    At first sight, we notice an old naked man in the foreground, condemned (looks the ground & stands in back), surrounded by three furies - his own instincts (sexual connotation very not well-welcomed by jurists at that time - influence of Freudian psychanalize. Klimt is said to be a perverse man whose works have not their place in a University, and even no interest at all because corruptive...). 'Furies' because they are also naked, appealling him, and that their gazes, or attitudes, or hair are all charged with sensual connotations (form of snakes).
    He is left to them: the women in the background, representing Justice, Truth and Law, are just looking at the scene, impassive, stuck in the back - far away => weakness of Justice ? Inaction ? No preoccupation ?
    I have a feeling of huge loneliness looking at this painting...

    Nevertheless, the most interesting & symbolic part as for me is regarding the octopus that is embracing the old, powerless man.
    Indeed, Klimt is part of the symbolism artistic movement, so from there I searched for the meaning in psychoanalysis of the animal.
    I found, not unpleased, an entirely new and different view of Justice possible that our artist could have tried to depict in this painting...

    As a matter of fact, the octopus is commonly used to represent the (unconsciously?) possessive mother that tries to keep her children emprisoned in an exclusive love... She is not able to control her own primitive negative pulsions that are breathtaking for them. In their relationship, it misses an exchange (conversation, affection, comprehension...) that could permit the emancipation of the children from the absolute control of the mother - control aggravated because of the deepness of the sea > no light under there = no enlightment = no escape = death.
    Let's see the law as the possessive-to-death octopus, claimed Klimt?

    I would finish by quoting Pf. Manderson:
    "For surely the whole of sentencing law depends on our capacity for fear, shame, retribution and subjugation. Law has never made explicit its theory of the human psychology and perhaps this is why".

    Salomé Lewis

  4. In his first lesson Prof. Manderson talked us about the relationship between art (visual arts' area) and law. After an interesting introduction he showed us 3 images: The Hammurabi Code, an ancient collection of Babylonian laws on a diorite stele (probably the first example of a written code); Allegory of Civil code, a painting by the french artist Mauzaisse, in which Napoleone stands out at the center while he's writing the code; Jurisprudence, a Gustav Klimt's painting. Three evident and great examples of how law and art can go together: communicate law through art works, enclose in a painting, a picture or a sculpture, concepts and legal history. In particular, i'd like to focus on a brief comparison between the first 2 works analyzed. My first thought, seeing in sequence Hammurabi code and then Allegory of Civil code, was: how many differences! In the Babylonian sculpture there is one only dominant color (black) and the message transmitted is a message of dark force, of something that comes from above and is imposed. Something that cannot be discussed! Therefore an unilateral and mysterious power. In the Mauzaisse's painting, on the contrary, there are light, many colors and sundry subjects. The viewer can admire and interpret what is in front. There is possibility for imagination and the message that filters is, ultimately, a message of serenity.Sure authority, but not blind force! I see it as a concept of power more open and closer to people.Napoleone seems to be saying to citizen: "ehi, look, i'm writing a code for you! This will be the law that you'll have to follow." I conclude by saying that these masterpieces are very significant. They are two excellent historical testimonies, as well as artistic.

  5. According to the reading "Law and Aesthetics",I desume that Holmes,at the turn of the century,discovers the link between art and law.He thought that the distinction between law and art could be a limit because people involved in the world of law couldn't appreciate the beauty of the masterpieces of art.Art is appreciated by the jurists only once it becomes a subject characterized by convention,use;in other words when art becomes like law.Great art means a refuse to conventions and rules and only in this case,art thanks to its creative freedom and imagination,can express itself.The "Aesthetics question" is seen as something extremely subjective rather than objective as law requires.The Common law must follow general rules and a fair logic,while the experience of art doesn't have common or universal valid standards to be appreciated thanks to its subjective core.For Hegel law is the combination of reason and necessity;for law,art represents sensuality and freedom.Art is linked to imagination,to a fantastic world where play is the main character while law means control,order and discipline.Law seems to be functional to solve conflicts and cases by the following of right,duties and obligations in a condition of purity and transparency avoiding the chaos and the jumble of aesthetic world and imagination.In the past centuries art in history has been seen as a weapon in certain particular political contests as fascism and sovietic communism where significant and harsh battles to control art and culture were integral part of the establishment and maintenance of the political power.By reading this issue I believe that it's not hard to explore the valid relationships between art and law which appearently seen antithetical but in reality cooperate in many fields and we do have many examples,even in the past.

  6. Our last class with professor Desmond Manderson was really interesting, i was so fascinated by his lesson that i wrote down a lot of his sayngs!!!!!
    The one i preferred the most was about the Hammurabi's Code, when he showed us the picture of the code he asked us what does this figure represent to us, what would it means!
    Our answers sound like this: strenght, fear, subjection,compliance, obedience, power and so on..
    When he was talking about the strenght of this figure, the power that it represents; it came to me a song, that i think it's tightly linked to this argument, i'm talking about one of Bruce Springsteen's songs : Long walk Home.
    this song is about a man, a "nothing man", who has lost his family and his identity, but he had the chance to come back to his hometown, in which he found out that everything has changed, but everything is still the same..because this is his hometown!!
    There is a phrase in the song that sounds linke this : "YOU KNOW THIS FLAG FLYIN' OVER THE COURTHOUSE
    WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE'LL DO AND WHAT WE WON'T", those words in my opinion are as strong as those on the stone of the Hammurabi's Code; the flag in the song and the big stone of the code are two images of strenght and power..
    and as Professor Manderson said, representation is more powerfull than force, because representation creates something inside our mind that will live forever!!!!!

  7. On Wednesday,Proessor Manderson,during his lesson about the visual arts,spoke of the visual power of paintings,statues etc., and I'm agree with him because the visual arts are a powerful tool to provide ideas but even to influence those of the viewer.
    I was interested in the reference to the poster of "Uncle Sam";its most famous depiction is the one that appeared on the recruitment poster(-I WANT YOU-)drawn by James Montgomery Flagg in 1916.
    "Uncle Sam" is depicted as an old man with a pointed beard and the cylinder.
    The origin of the name derived from the letters U.S.(United States) printed on the barrels of salted meat produced by a supplier of the army,Sam Wilson(called by his friends "Uncle Sam").
    Those letters were probably confused and the soldiers thought that they were to mean that Uncle Sam sent them the salted meat.
    "Uncle Sam" is the symbol of the propaganda,used by the State to achieve a goal:the recruitment of the Americans.
    Significant is that "Uncle Sam" points his finger at the spectator,meaning that as if the picture(tha art in general) was able to speak directly to us; it creates a personal connection between the work and the viewer.
    The langauge of images is very evocative,full of signs with symbolic value; images have clear communication purposes and,as Prof. Manderson said, sometimes they inspire you to do something!
    In fact the colour,the shapes and the phrases in the works are all part of a single composition intended to give a message; nothing is left to chance,everything is studied to inspire feelings or reactions in the spectators.
    In my opinion, propaganda and advertising are one of the most effective and most frequently means to communicate throught the use of images and sounds:there is a communication without a speech.

  8. I’m was fascinated and enthusiastic of today’s lesson,in particular by the works of Brueghel,I had good fortune to see in the museum of Madrid(el Prado) , but I had not fully understood his work.
    Brueghel “the elder” was the biggest exponent of the Flemish art in the 1550,was the author of many works,in particular in addiction disussed in classroom,there are “the great tower of Babele” or “wedding banquet”or “the big fish eat a small fish”.
    The work”, Justice from The World of Seven Virtues” for me is wonderful for three reasons:
    1)it is a well-organized set of allegorical figures and it is a whole new way of representing justice.Generraly the justiceis represented on a pedestal and holding his tools (sword and scales) and never surrounded by people,but in this work the justice is in the middle of the people and around her are depicted all the various punishments that may be imposed by the justice,as torture, mutilation, whipping, strappado, beheading, hanging, the rack, and burning at the stake. This new way of representing justice is very interesting because the particularity is that justice is embedded within a context and is not represented in isolation. I think this means that justice is not only represented in an allegorical manner but also in a more concrete vision.
    2)Another particular is that the author insert a text for observ what is for he the ruol of the justice,for this the lower text of the image translates as saying, The aim of law is either to correct him who is punished, or to improve others by his punishment, or to provide that others live more securely by removing wrongdoers.This this special shows how the author gives us his vision of justice not only through painting but also in a more direct or through a statement.
    3) the apparent chaos of the great works where there are men and objects depicted with care and with a precise location, we passed on the love of detail, typically Flemish, which was so elated with the openings landscape, large-scale action. These elements we can trace them not only in work “Justice from The World of Seven Virtues “ but also in another works as “Triumph of Death” or “Fall of the Rebel Angels” and for me this particular is wonderful because in this way the one who looks at the painting is completely immersed in the world of the painter.

  9. As lover of history, in this remark i want to take the printing of the proclamation of Governor Davey, to tell about the situation of Aborigines in Australia during the colonialism of XIX century. Prof. Manderson has underlined the importance of iconography of the printing, describing the four levels where is rather clear, but i want to specify some points that were not discussed in class.
    In the first level we have the image of Peaceful intermingling of white settlers and Aborigines. In this case I want to underline that all of the people, are dressed in European clothing.
    In the second figure,an Aboriginal group shake hands with Governor; in this image seems that the aboriginal it's bent in sign of respect of the colonialists (in addition to the peaceful symbol of handshake).
    In the third level, an Aboriginal man spears a white settler, and is consequently hanged by the military in front of the Governor and in fourth level an white settler shoots an Aboriginal man and is consequently hanged by the military. In these last figures, despite the message, of the Governor and of the colonialists, was : put everyone on the equal footing as Prof. Paolo Napoli said in his intervention, is very clear the disproportion! For me the most clearest is represented by the fact that the justice is always 'in the hands' of the Colonialists. The disproportion, i mean, is in all the 4 figure and actually the story gives me reason. Officially, throughout the nineteenth century, the colonial policy towards Aborigines was to ensure equality, but they soon switched from a policy of protection to a punitive. The clash between the two cultures was particularly dramatic at the time when settlers began to take severe repressive measures against aborigines. At the local and colonial, destruction or indifference to Aboriginal culture is often accompanied segregationist practices under which the indigenous population was closed in reserves and excluded from the colonial life.Before the twentieth century numerous Aboriginal communities were confined mainly in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Had to wait until the fifties of the twentieth century so that Aboriginal population slowly returned to the previous level of the arrival of Europeans and so the government began to reconsider its policy.

  10. Throughout the week the professor Menderson made us an overview of some works of art, in relation to the law. of all I found it very interesting painting by Picasso.
    Guernica by Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous paintings in the world, as well as one of the most important masterpieces created by the Spanish artist.
    Of course we know that is inspired by the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by the German Air Force in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. I open a short parenthesis to frame the historical context: the event caused a sensation and Guernica somehow became a city symbol of the atrocities of the war, partly because it was the first air raid. Upon learning of the episode, Picasso wanted to express his anger and let the world know the atrocities that were taking place in his country, with a work that would present the World Exhibition in Paris in the Spanish Pavilion. the picture is essentially monochrome, I think the reference is clearly to the vintage photos that were developed in black and white. A little 'as if it were a document, a direct testimony. The scene takes place in a street or in a public square of the town of Guernica, as you can see stylized houses and buildings in flames because of bombs. The composition, which stretches horizontally, brings together seven groups of characters following the direction of canonical reading from left to right is a woman screaming in pain with his young son died in his arms. Remember representations of the “Pietà” with the Virgin Mary in her lap Christ just taken down from the cross. The bull symbolizes the brutality, which was capable of this atrocity, as the horse torn apart, with a bomb in the jaws, the Spanish people the same. The oil lamp in the hands of a woman descending the stairs and placed at the center of the work, indicates the reason that it does not include the bombing and destruction. The fallen soldier should be a reference to the Spanish soldiers loyal to the republic and deaths during the war. The last picture is one of the most dramatic: a woman who dies because of the fires that burned enveloping his home. The reference here is to the artistic images of Maria Maddalena at the foot of the cross of Christ or late, when it showed its pain, raising his arms to the sky as a sign of despair. Returning the figure of the horse, we notice that this looks upward where there is an eye with a light bulb, this represents God and justice, as in a modern, light is no longer that of the sun, warm and natural, but a light bulb in the center, almost, of the scene.
    In this work, founded as a mural and then sized to engage the viewer almost attacking it, making him feel victim among the victims, the painter does not invent new ways but rather creates a summary of its results.
    Starting then from a classical serves to Picasso to emphasize that destroy an entire civilization is to destroy the history and culture.
    This would seem to be precisely the crux of what the professor tried to explain, that the power of art that can be derived from a static excitement and full of meaning.

  11. With regards to the lessons of Professor Manderson, it was really interesting to see how a painting, done by people who are not professional painters, not even lawyers, can be considered as law. I am referring to the Great Ngurrara Canvas, a canvas painted by the traditional owners of the Great Sandy Desert in the Northwestern Australia, just as an expression of their links with the country. Anker, professor of law at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, defines this phenomenon as cultural artefacts as proof of native title. The painting is in fact the collaboration of fifty artists, produced when the Walmajarri, Wangkajunga, Mangala and Juwaliny populations were asked to prepare a map of their traditional area for a claim of native title. Each of them painted a section to represent their area.
    It is clear that the law is Australian law and the legal questions are those that arise when the natives bring complaints before the courts. In fact, during a plenary session each "artist" / witness was on his portion of the canvas and telling stories related to it. Then we should not feel these cases so far: the lawyers who represent indigenous clients maybe they will need to understand something about the indigenous law. In theory, according to the High Court of Australia, there is only one law in Australia: the common law. But, actually, there is also the indigenous law and these are seen to reside in different levels: as a social fact which can be proved in evidence, the other is the current law.
    At this point it is necessary to reconstruct a short history of the conflict on the property and its modern resolution, as indigenous and English colonialist had two very different ideas about it. In 1788, the British were expanding in the world and at the beginning made Australia a penal colony. At that time in Europe, there was the formalization of the institution of private property, which in 1804 will then be defined by the Code Napoleon as "droit de disposer jouir et des choses de la manière la plus absolue, qu'on pourvu n'en Fasse pas un usage prohibé par les lois ou par les règlements "(art.544 cc). In Australia, however the inhabitants were hunters who had lived in the continent for 50,000 years and considered the soil properties differently, almost as a kind of common property.

  12. Therefore, when the British arrived on the island, the two views of the property clashed with each other and prevailed powerful colonialists. Subsequently, the Australian Constitution of 1901 established that each state regulates Indigenous affairs under its own jurisdiction, and hence variability in the treatment of these populations.
    But at the end of the XX century things had changed: there was recognition of the failure of assimilationist policies and recognition of indigenous minorities. So, the last forty years have seen the restitution of several lands, as a result of land rights and the processes of statutory titles Native (22% of mainland Australia).
    The interesting thing to analyze is that while the logic of capitalist society is manifested in private property rights, indigenous lands are instead conferred to groups under common property regimes. In addition, while securities Native title guarantee the right of use of resources, the rights of the resources are not included in the market value of the land refunds.
    To help us understand everything is the great painting: it is seen as a way to communicate knowledge to the non-Aboriginal people and the courts, it is represents the country itself. This work is not a matter of law, but law!
    It is also seen to deal with the need of credibility to make a claim: the need to appear true. For this reason Anker talks about "proof", as in our political systems they are the means that allow the judge to increase or decrease the probability that a claim is true.
    In conclusion we see how the painting may represent a map of the claimants of the country and, in my opinion, it can be really a law that can be understood by all.

    Ylenia Coronas

  13. I red two articles about the Leviathan and I decide to do few pages about them doing a my own research, linking what said Manderson with what I discovered.. I would like to share with you!

    The Leviathan

    The two documents “The frontispiece of Leviathan- Hobbes' Bible Use” written by Lars Ostman of University of Copenhagen, and “Iconography of Representation: Carl Schmitt and Image” written by Tanaka Jun, give us a deep insight about Hobbes' Leviathan and its allegorical meanings, although these are only two of the enormous amount of peace of works on this argument.

    The first work analyses the frontispiece focusing on the relation between theology and politics, trying to define the evolution of this image and to discuss the form of power and authority symbolized on the frontispiece. The author starting from the ideas of Giorgio Agamben, tries not to do a simple analyses of the image in a traditional sense, but to develop the idea that Leviathan represents a political version of the Christian angelology, that Leviathan becomes the “divine messenger” who is a temporal minister and administrator of God's will and government.
    In other words, the image of Leviathan that rise up from this essay is that it represents a “new way of conceiving the relation between citizens and sovereign as it combines Christian political theory and aesthetics”.

    We know that the main topic depicted in the frontispiece is the idea of “commonwealth”, the glorious king who contains citizens in his belly. This picture is put just under a citation from Job's Book in the Bible “Non est potestas super terram quae comparetur ei”, and this is a referential strategy in order to say to who is reading that the contract argued in Leviathan between state and citizen is very peculiar one and that it needs the Bible to be reinforced (all of these assumptions are corroborated by the structure of the image, that I will explain soon). So we might say that the Job citation is paradigmatic for Hobbes's strategy in the book. By doing it (using the Bible in a general methodology of citation), Hobbes uses a technic developed in the philosophical tradition known as “scholaticism”, in particularly the Bonaventure method who gives for “strands” when writing a book:

    “...Fourfold is the manner of making a book. For one writes another's by adding and or changing nothing; and that one is called merely a writer, another writes another's by adding but not from his own; and that one is called a compiler. Another writes both hos own words and another's but the others as the principle ones as the principles one; and this is called commentator, not an author. Another writes both hi sown and another's but his own as the principles one, the other's as things annexed for confirmation; and such ought to be called an author”.

    So, looking and focusing on Leviathan frontispiece, we could notice that Hobbes follows the “author strategy”, the Bible is an annex, a supplement to Hobbes' own writing, it is used as a poetical confirmation of what is depicted; Leviathan is not a “commentary” to the job citation.
    In this sense we start understanding how deep could be the analyses of this image and from how many points of view we are able to see it.

    Actually if we tried to make a comparison with the image of Leviathan in the bible, Hobbes' one is really different, in the bible it is an animal, nothing like a king woth corwn, crook and sword. In the Vulgate too (the latin translation of the bible), Leviathan is depicted as a snake, a giant fish, a dragon, because in this case it stands for the incarnation and personification of violence and anger.
    How many meanings for Leviathan!

  14. What about Hobbes' frontispiece?
    Abraham Bosse is the artist who made the frontispiece, in close cooperation with the author, and it is only one of the many illustration of Leviathan as a mythological creature. One of the most spectacular is the destruction du Leviathan made by Gustave Dorè in 1865, in which Leviathan is a mix between a dragon and a sea monster and in which only good can save the village captured by Leviathan.But as we could se Hobbes' Leviathan is neither a dragon nor a sea monster, it is no less a mythological creature, although “king” he is nonetheless an artificial man and work of art, infact his body is made by people and his uniform is also made out of people. This is underlined by one of the first sentence in the book:

    “..for by art is created that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth or State which is but an artificial man”

    So Leviathan's body and clothes are his own and at the same time they are of someone else, citizens. Leviathan and citizens are like a puzzle, viewed one way the clothes belong to the citizens, viewed another way they belong to Leviathan forming his vest. (we see a mass of citizens in the belly of Leviathan, and in another way we see Leviathan clothes). In this sense we might say that citizens of his kingdom and Leviathan are one and the same.

    It is possible to read an insight of this argument in a speech of Ernest Kantorowicz published in God in uniform, in which it is underlined the use of military uniform for Romans and the relation with Leviathan. The difference between civil clothes and the military uniform was important to the Romans. It was prohibited to enter the city if not in civil clothes with the exception of the head of the state. The only time a Roman was allowed to wear a war uniform in pace time was in the case of a “state of exception”. Furthermore in both Greece and Rome it used to picture God in armour, a tendency that continue in the Christian era (for example “Christ was repeatedly represented with the imperial purple chlayms around his shoulder”).
    Let's try to analyze Hobbes' frontispiece with the analysis stated in Gods in Uniform speech: it Is possible to notice that Hobbes tries to do a sort of Imitatio Imperatorum on the part of Leviathan as king and that he tries to do an Imitatio deorum on the part of Leviathan as a mortal God.
    Infact we may say that Leviathan is showed as King when it is dressed out of men, and Mortal God because he wears the crown, the highest royal ornament.
    These two element (imitatio deorum and imitatio imperatorum), says Kantorowics, are united and secularized in the Leviathan, “human clothes are transformed into juridical clothes giving him the potentiality of executing just violence”, the divine law is dressed now with profanity, with human being.
    Leviathan as the unity of man and God, temporal and spiritual.

    The fact that the “citizens” of the commonwealth that constitute Leviathan's physiology and bow towards the face of the king suggests, so, a political liturgy. But interesting is that only the “politic body” is dressed by humans, instead the “head of the government” and the hands that hold sword and crook, are nothing but his own.

  15. Talking about sword, crook and crown let see their deep meaning and how they are related with Hobbes framework. They appear as artifacts or ornaments of power, and it is through the analysis of these elements that it is possible to understand why there isn't a single man embodying Leviathan.
    What says Hobbes about that?
    “The two arms of a commonwealth are force and justice , the first is in the king, the other deposited in the hands of parliament.”
    Is it so possible to think that the two arms are the legislative and executive power? Yes, but probably we need to go deep in the analysis. (We see that in the Leviathan nothing is like it appears!).
    Probably its arms are God's extended arms representing a twofold structure of power:

    1) one gives life  the crook  symbolize Redemption  and Church

    2) another that takes life the sword symbolize Punishment and State

    Hobbes himself says that “The maintenance of civil society depending on justice, and justice on the power of life and death” .

    But they seem administrative and practically divided, infact the sword own to the King instead the crook to the bishop: the Leviathan instead holding both makes the two instruments formally united, while the crown united the profane and divine world, being the highest symbol of government, authority and legitimacy.
    Infact although Leviathan is commonwealth that consists of citizens, when it needs to protect his commonwealth, he uses as other man, its own power “for the preservation of his own nature”.
    Leviathan has the authority, the legitimacy to do this, and this puring violence ,emerging inside commonwealth's walls, to protect citizens, is a metaphor of the state of nature, state of nature that is the prototype for the state of exception. Probably this could explain what I said before, about army clothes and the clothes of Leviathan.

    We can define the state of exception “such a Vacuum in Law, as such permitting a just violence though neither legal nor illegal”. What is important to underline is that leviathan's violence is not actual but potential, his disposition to war is non-applied but always in vigor.
    What Hobbes want to underline in his work is that:

    “it is as if law contained an essential fracture placing itself between the position of the norm and its application and which, in extreme cases, can only be filled through the state of exception by creating a zone in which application is suspended but law remains, as such, in vigor”.

    The state is guaranteed survival to such an extent that it survives even at the expense of each and every life of the citizens. The consequence is that the only life existing in the commonwealth is political life immediately associated and identical with sovereign power just like we see on the frontispiece.

    This is what in conclusion is possible to understand and assume from the first work, a work in which the author focalizes his and our attention to the role played by Leviathan in both political and theological fields.

    What about the second work?
    In the second work, the author tries to find a link between Carl Shmitt, Image and Leviathan, and tries to analyze the role of the image in the Schmitt's thought with a focus on his “ The Leviathan in Thomas Hobbes's state theory” 1938. A lot of things are just the same of what it is stated in the previous work, so I just underline the most important and relevant things of the second one.

    It is well known that the concept at the base of the “publicism” of Carl Schmitt there is “Representation”:

    “Representation was the ordering principle of the Catholic church and the 17th century absolutist state, and was the main principle of the society, art, and thoughts that were formed there. According to the definition in Schmitt's Verfassungslehre (Constitution Theory, 1928)," to represent means to make visible and present an invisible entity through an entity which is publicly present. The invisible is assumed to be absent but simultaneously made present through representation.”

  16. For Schmitt the concept of iconography is more suitable than “ideology” to refer to such an objects, because “iconography gains its historical concreteness by being recognized in geographical spatiality.”

    In my opinion this probably could be linked to what we are doing in class with Law and Visual, and how it is important for students to get in touch with this different way of learning.

    Talking about Schimtt and the Anatomy of Leviathan, he emphasizes intensity of the Image using a lot of expressions like “a mythological symbol which bore hidden deep meaning," "the most intense image," and "its extraordinary mythological force."
    At first, Schmitt intently pursues the iconography of this "image" covered with mythological, theological, and cabalistic interpretation like an iconographer.
    According to his view, “European nations have been driven to various complicated interpretations of Leviathan when they must solve huge political problems because they felt that deep mythological relations were at work in it. In this way, Leviathan turned into a powerful political mythological symbol by virtue of being a concrete historical image containing the dialectical strain of a question and answer structure.”.

    But he observes that the frontispiece and the content of his book are contradictory and give an impression that is not united.
    Infact at a first sight, the title evokes Leviathan images such as a dragon, a sea animal, a snake, an alligator or a whale, but in the frontispiece it is represented as a giant who consists of countless human beings, standing with a sword in his right hand and a crosier in his left.
    Schmitt says that “such a simultaneous and direct juxtaposition of the associations with huge animals and the image of a giant is not a fault at all, but gives rather an intense impression. This is because man and a beast are united in many myths, and a mythological phenomenon comes to be believed more by unifying a giant with a huge animal.”
    For him, the leviathan in Hobbes is a fusion of four images: a giant, a huge animal, a mortal God and an artificial machine, and when this four are united they make a unique mythological image, this is the answer that Schmitt gives to this:
    “ international society is the place of vivid fights between many elemental powers, Leviathan appears as a huge animal (it is here that the power of animal fables is mentioned). On the other hand, because a state is a centralized command mechanism armed with knowledge and exercised with one switch, it appears as a huge machine. The very duality of the Leviathan image as huge animal and huge machine serves as a source of its force.”.

    For him it is a concrete historical image containing the dialectical strain as an answer that Hobbes posed to the question out of a specific historical situation, although however, after World War II, Leviathan came to be regarded as symbol of totalitarianism. For Schmitt, this was nothing but mistaken "mythological actualization." In 1965, he said that the political myth of Leviathan was still so strong that it made Hobbes himself a mythological person.

  17. So as we may see, there is no difference between the idea expressed in the two different works.

    In conclusion, changing a little the topic, could be interesting to see the allegorical aspects of the city depicted in the picture. I put the whole text because it is something that it could be interesting to know from the original source, without my speculation on it , but I highlight the most important parts:

    “ Leviathan’s Divine City “
    One of the greatest differences between Hobbes’s frontispiece, the biblical myth and also Doré’s copper engraving of Leviathan, is that God is absent on the former. On Leviathan’s frontispiece, Leviathan himself is the protector, redeemer and saviour of the civitas. On earth, if we are to believe the frontispiece, there is no need of God.
    What strikes one as particularly odd though is the total absence of citizens on the frontispiece. The city is evacuated. No one is in sight. The only citizens are those forming Leviathan’s body. The city itself, however, is carefully drawn with contours, shadows, balances and with a wealth of detail not found outside the city. It seems quite obvious that Hobbes in his collaboration with Bosse wishes to mark a clear distinction between city and land, culture and nature. Nonetheless, Leviathan stands tall in the horizon like a sun refusing to set, seemingly both belonging and not belonging to the city, both inside and outside its juridical-political order just like Schmitt teaches us is the paradoxical definition of the sovereign.. The city itself is constructed according to the Roman architectural idea of a grating, which the empire took over from the Babylonians and the Egyptians.In its most simple form, it consists of a single grating, a cross, having two main roads crossing each other. Also the Roman castrum (military camp) followed this idea, and was divided in such four squares by way of two crossing axes (decumanus and cardo), which was considered a universal architectonic principle. The Roman was therefore at home, wherever he was.
    In the theological context in which Hobbes has chosen to place his Leviathan, one must not forget that Leviathan with his arms forms a cross, both referring to the Christian idea of salvation and to the cohesion profane-divine, man-God, earth-heaven. This principle, of course, is also symbolised by the body of Christ who hung upon the cross, and is a structure reflective in church architecture.
    As we read in Paul’’s first letter to the Corinthians, the body of Christ is the church and its members; this corresponds perfectly with the Leviathanian body consisting of men, thereby constituting the Hobbesian ekklesia, furthermore symbolised by the Leviathanian citizens facing the king’’s head in prayer. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the most significant building on the frontispiece is the cathedral. It is also upon this building that Leviathan’’s shadow falls.
    The term ’’cathedral’’ derives from the late Middle Ages and signifies, in addition to the building, the economic dimension and the organisational structure of the Christian community.
    Neither church nor cathedral has in the Middle Ages any specific, clear or isolated divine function. Rather, it blends profane and divine aspects from all spectres of human life being both a political as well as an economical and religious centre. Like Francesco Calasso writes in his Medioevo del diritto, the ecclesiastical institution itself is an order going beyond the isolated religious sphere and that of canonic or divine law. The ecclesiastical institution establishes an order also manifested in the profane and political sphere: ““The Church is in fact a corpus, meaning an order [ordinamento]: and the norms it presents already contains all the elements of the juridical herein [……]”.

  18. One of these political aspects touched on by the church’’s extensive function and role is that it is regarded as a hôtel-Dieu, especially true for the largest churches, the cathedrals. They are something like a combined hospital and a social service, caring for people in all kinds of need. The area just around the cathedral is reserved for the crippled, sick and poor who here may hope to be taken care of by the cathedral personnel. Also abandoned infants are laid here. The cathedral is a sort of no-man’’s land or a band of emptiness. However, a pure physical, practical or profane function is prohibited. The needy man suffers here to enter into another sphere. Hence, the protection, cure and nursing offered here is, the first time round, sacred and only on the second pass profane. Or, rather, whatever enters this zone is transformed into something ecclesiastical. In opposition to the castle –– which on Leviathan’’s frontispiece is the profane image on the left corresponding to the sacred church on the right –– God’’s house is entangled in a web of magic. The church protects with more than rocks.
    The Hobbesian state is in need of both profane and sacred, civil and ecclesiastical in securing law and order. In Leviathan, this is stated most clearly: ““And that Governor must be one””, Hobbes writes using one of his beloved metaphors as argument:

    [……] or else, there must needs follow faction, and civil war in the commonwealth, between the Church and State ; between spiritualists, and temporalists ; between the sword of justice, and the shield of faith : and, which is more, in every Christian man’’s own breast, between the Christian, and the man.

    Like the angels were entrusted to conduct and administer the divine government of world and salvation, so, too, Hobbes’’s Leviathan delivers the euangelion that he is the keeper and guarantor for the ““Salus Populi”” which is but the health of the state by whatever means.”


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  20. Alice Borsacchi

    Starting from 1434, with "The Arnolfini Portrait" by Jan Van Eyck, to 2009, with the game called "Six days at Fallujah", there is an obvious common thread between law and art, law and images, law and the visual: a work of art is able to represent a particular historical period and could bring to the present day the testimony of the kind of law that was in force in every different era. We are talking about almost 600 years of history and this gives us an idea of the importance of art, even in representing the law. For example right in the work of Jan Van Eyeck, "The Arnolfini Portrait", we can become aware of the peculiarities of the culture of the time, especially in relation to the class of wealthy bankers and merchants. In fact, the painting portrays the merchant Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife Giovanna Cenami, probably during their oath of marriage. They were part of the large community of Italian merchants and bankers resident in Bruges. But it is in the Hammurabi’s Code (1750) that perfectly sums up the marriage between law and art; this code is a collection of 282 laws of King Hammurabi of Babylon and give us an idea of the laws in force in Mesopotamia during the reign of Hammurabi. The legal corpus is divided into lots of chapters on various social categories and crimes, and embraces practically all the possible situations of human coexistence of the XVIII century in Mesopotamia, from family relationships to the commercial and economic matters , from the construction industry to the rules for the administration of public affairs and justice. The laws are greatly detailed, and this has provided an excellent contribution to archaeologists, allowing them to rebuild important practical aspects of Mesopotamian society. The importance of the Code of Hammurabi certainly lies in the fact that it is one of the first picked organic laws come down to us, but especially in its being public, or better to say publicly available, explaining the legal concept of the ability to know the law and presumption of knowledge of the law.
    The Babylonian citizen had therefore the opportunity to check their conduct according to the laws of the sovereign, and thus to avoid certain behaviors, or choose to implement at their own risk and peril. For the first time in the history of law, punishable behaviors and any penalties are made known to all the people (or at least those who were able to read).
    The code is a widespread use of the law of retaliation, well known in the Judeo-Christian world to be also the basis of the law of the biblical prophet Moses. The punishment for various crimes is in fact often identical to the wrong or damage done "to an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". A spectacular testimony of how a work of art can sum up the essence of the laws in force during a specific era, in a specific place.
    This concept was underlined during the first lesson by Professor Desmond Manderson when he explained to us exactly the relationship between art and law.
    We could find similar relationship in each of the works of art mentioned above and in each of the areas of visual art. Is the case of the game "Six days at Fallujah". The game follows a squad of U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, fighting in the Second Battle of Fallujah over the span of six days in November 2004.

    ( continue ... )

  21. ( ... )

    The premise of the game was the subject of controversy in 2009, with questions raised as to its appropriateness, especially given the fact that the true event the game is based upon was recent at the time. For this controversy the game has not been released and there is no set release date. Shortly after the announcement of the imminent production, the game was met with criticism by British war veterans from the United Kingdom, as well as from a British peace group. The misunderstanding stems from the fact that these horrific events should be confined to the annals of history, not trivialized and rendered for thrill-seekers to play out, expecially because it's entirely possible that Muslim families will buy the game, and for them it may prove particularly harrowing. Even worse, it could end up in the hands of a fanatical young Muslim and incite him to consider some form of retaliation or retribution.

    This shows us that any visual representation, any art and culture symbols can be an icon that can be traced back to the law and all disputes that the legal field has always generates ...

  22. Last wednesday, Professor Manderson showed us many paintings depicting the image of justice. it was a very interesting lesson, especially because each painting has a different meaning, because justice is depicted in a different way. The professor began the lesson talking about the Baroque in general. He has listed numerous features of the Baroque, but I have mainly affected the relationship between visual and illusion, because “illuse yourself, you can’t distinguish the real from the fake”.there is an illusionary vision of life. the painting I was most interested in is theSol Justitiae, Albrecht Durer(1499),because the justice has the face like a sun, symbol of power.there are also the symbols of justice like sword and the balance.It is interesting that the gaze is directed downward, the painter wants to convey a sense of melancholy. however, in my opinion, the most important aspect is that justice is seated on a lion, which gives the impression of being submissive, both with his eyes down, either because it has the tail between legs. Another very important aspect is the similarity of the face of justice with apollo. this because he wants to mean that the judge is clean and complete as a god. However, there is no blindness, this is because the painter wants to transmit the lack of darkness, ignorance and injustice. Furthermore, this painting is going to be auctioned at Christie's. On the web site I found a small description of the painting, where “but also a depiction of Christ as sun-god and universal judge, with the lion as the astrological symbol of the sun. It is a fascinating combination of Christian principles, pagan iconography and astrology, which had co-existed, merged and survived until Dürer's time”.

  23. During the first class of professor Manderson, we looked at three different works representing ideas of law. Our observations left us with various visions the subject.
    Is law a code written in stone to which we owe obedience because it is the will of the Gods handed over to Kings and finally communicated to common mortals on the stone of Hamurabi? Or is it on the contrary the code itself that is divine, as Napoleon seems to tell us on the second picture. A code born out of the genius of man addressing itself directly to everyone, no exceptions. A law that burdens man of his own life, a bible for everyday relationships. A code that is so well made by his author that it is godly itself and deserves a cult of its own. Or is man, as Klimt suggests, continuously in vain effort to alter the conditions of nature and life: death, ignorance and injustice making of justice and law only an ideal and no obtainable reality?
    None of these images have the same vision on law. However what they do have in common is a sense of spirituality. Whereas today we see law as an instrument that we can manipulate to obtain an envisaged outcome, all three pieces of art make reference to a higher value that makes it impossible to control law as a little human being. In those three art works law cannot be manipulated: or because it is given by the gods and therefore the only truth, or because it is created by the genius of man and therefore perfect or because it is impossible to trick nature, the real law that our human constructions unsuccessfully try to dodge.


  24. In essence law and visual art are similar in the sense that they both have the symbolic power, therefore depending on what value we accord to it and always open to interpretation. This is the frustrating thing about both law and art. It is in our human nature to nail down definitive explanations about everything and everyone. If someone dies, we try to define what kind of person he was. Professor Manderson used the example of pope Joan Paul the second and Thatcher. But even when alive we put labels on persons: this person is nice, hyperactive, weird, funny. It is difficult for us to handle reality without defining, to not be able to understand everything.
    The baroque, period of illusions confronts us with this human condition of ignorance. What is real and what isn’t, is reality mocking itself of us? This “challenge” symbols tend to be was very clear throughout the second class, when we reflected about the evolution of the Iconography of Justice. What is the
    For a long time judges were ought to do just because they were in a relationship of a spiritual order. The seven deadly sins are represented by Jeroen Bosch in the iris of the eye of God. Everybody would be judged in the end. At this stage God and Justice are represented as one. In later illustrations, the figure of Justice is separated from God. We saw this on an etching of Dürer where Justice is the sun herself, sole justitiae, a strong figure but a bit melancholic and lonely in her task. This embodiment of Justice as the sun, shining her light of the darkest corner and differs from who we know as Lady Justitiae today as a blindfolded figure.
    The representation of Justice as we know today started as a critique: she is represented her as blindfolded by a fool by Sebastian Brandt. Funny is that within 60 years this picture was positively valuated. Is this because Justice needed to be cut of her emotional side? As a woman she should be blinded to act rationally. Or because she chooses herself to be blindfolded to be able to be impartial? The printing press made it possible to diffuse books and images to a larger audience and caused more possible interpretations because more people were confronted but also because it creates a bigger distance between author and reader.
    Fact is that today Justice’s blindfold is generally considered as something positive. But if we look at the history of this iconography we seem to be laughing at ourselves. Knowing the evolution of the iconography, blindfolded Lady Justice seems to be a sadist. It is not that History of Art opted for a naturally blind Lady Justice, blind persons being often symbol of a bigger inner sight and having the ability of prophecies. If she would have been blind she would have been able to treat everyone equally, but she is blindfolded so who controls her vision?

    Is blindfolded Justice sincere or mocking us? Or shall we simply decide that she is impartial to make it easier for everyone .

  25. about some interesting studies of prof. Manderson what struck me most is the evolution of the meaning of light, first as truth, then as a power.
    it seems to me that about the iconography of justice there is a common thread in all ages that we have analyzed. Initially justice is the law of God, by which we discern good from evil with clarity, and the man is called to justice as truth, stretching towards the absolute good. Then after the sol iustitiae becomes the representation of the power and strength of the state, an idea instituted, valued and modeled, but mostly abstract, in a sense baroque beacause it depends on the interpretation that is given to her. the king's justice is a justice build as a fake, blindfolded by the king himself. and it is from this time that the power of the state becomes the modern idea of the law, as we can see in the proclamation of the Aborigines: the law was created to justify the power of men and lying constructs an abstract apparatus exclaiming: the picture of the king is the king!

  26. Prof. Manderson’s lectures have sincerely inspired me to go deep into the “Law and the Visual” subject matter and so I have tried to seek for works of art and paintings that potentially could help me approaching the topic .
    I choose to look for modern and contemporary art paintings and after a little research I have finally found a very captivating and interesting canvas.
    Thus, I have attempted to analyze it following the advices and the guidelines that Prof. Manderson gave us in class to examine artworks.

    The tableau I have selected is “The Trial” (1947) by Sidney Nolan.

    Before analyzing the painting I would like to give you a few information about Sydney Nolan’s life and the historical background where he worked as an artist.

    Sir Sidney Nolan, in full Sir Sidney Robert Nolan (born April 22, 1917, Melbourne, Australia—died November 27, 1992, London, England), artist known for his paintings based on Australian folklore.
    With little formal art training, Nolan turned to painting at age 21 after different experiences as a racing cyclist, cook, and gold miner. In his early work he was influenced by the abstract artists Paul Klee and László Moholy-Nagy,
    A very important and influencing period for Nolan was when he served in the Australian army from 1942 to 1945.
    During that time he began to paint the local desolate desert landscapes in a more representative style. Apart from his landscapes, most of his mature works dealt with Australian historical or legendary characters and events—notably, the bushranger Ned Kelly, a famous outlaw whose square helmet is an iconic image in Australia
    Then Nolan moved to England in 1955, but he continued to paint his native Australian landscapes, among other themes. He remained involved with the theatre, designing stage sets for a production of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring in London in 1962 and for Camille Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson et Dalila, also in London, in 1981. Nolan’s work has been exhibited internationally, and many of his paintings and prints are in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He was knighted in 1981 and became a member of the Order of Merit in 1983.
    Nolan’s painting style is noted for its fluidity, which he emphasized by applying unusual mediums—such as ripolin (an enamel house paint) and polyvinyl acetate—to masonite, glass, paper, or canvas.
    As I reported in these biographical notes one of his fundamental canvas series is the one dedicate to the outlaw Ned Kelly and the tableau “The Trial” belong to this collection.
    Before examining the painting I think that is very necessary to know better who Ned Kelly was and how his controversial existence was too.
    Edward “Ned” Kelly was born in Beveridge, just north of Melbourne. He was as known as an Irish Australian bushranger considered by some to be a cold-blooded killer, while others considered him to be a folk hero and symbol of Irish Australian resistance against the Anglo-Australian ruling class.

  27. Kelly’s existence was distinguished by an high number of crimes and fellonies but his sentence to death was emitted in the 28th October 1890 where Kelly was presented on the charge of the murder of Sergeant Kennedy, Constable Scanlan and Lonigan, the various bank robberies, the murder of Sherritt, and resistance to the police at Glenrowan, together with a long catalogue of minor charges.[61] He was convicted of the wilful murder of Constable Lonigan and was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Barry.
    Proceeding to the artwork’s analysis I personally think that Sydney Nolan’s aim in his “The Trial” was to depict the precise moment when Kelly was straightly in front of his justice waiting for his sentence.
    On the foreground we can see Kelly portrayed in handcuffs and on his right we can also clearly recognize the judge sitting behind his desk and, on the background, we can notice several people (the jury and some police agents) look at the accused. Kelly is in the centre of the painting but the colors around him help make him stand out.
    But the very first thing that we can notice is the black squared helmet that the convicted Ned Kelly wears. We can only see Nelly’s gaze from the helmet’s breach: his eyes are round and very deep looking to the judge and the police agent sitting before the judge’s desk. Nolan recognized that the symbolic image of the black square (Kelly's helmet and armour) had been part of modern art since World War I.
    But we have to perceive that Nolan also concentrates on the Australian outback and shows a different landscape in nearly every painting. Nolan's art give the audience an insight into the history of Australia but also show others from the world how beautiful Australia is. The intensity of the colors of the land and bush along with its overall smooth texture help create harmony between legend, symbol and visual.
    With this painting (and with the whole series dedicated to Kelly) Nolan wanted to create and define episodes in Australian nationalism, to narrate the story of a hero again. Kelly has become a metaphor for humankind ( the fighter, the victim, and the hero) resisting tyranny with a passion for freedom.
    It's a very essential canvas but I personally think that Ned Kelly emerges as an Australian icon. In my opinion Kelly’s depiction is the most powerful symbol of the whole Nolan’s tableau and it makes this painting an emblem.

  28. Now, to go deeper into the meaning of this painting I would like to quote Sydney Nolan’s own words about his figurative representation. This could help us to better understand some of the tableau’s elements.
    “The tiled floor in red and white was in a house I was in once. The courthouse was in South Melbourne and through the left-hand window you can see sailing ships of the time. The candelabra is true to life. The judge wears the black cloth of death and below is a sergeant with a rolled, sealed document that spells doom for Kelly. Of course, it could not have then been ready. Kelly told Judge Barry that he would soon see him in the next world, which is not a very polite thing to say to a man who’s just sentenced you to death. Strangely enough, Mr Justice Barry, a great man, who did many good deeds, went home to bed and died a fortnight later, from, it is said, a septic carbuncle”.
    Nolan gives us a very detailed description of what we maybe could not notice at first sight.
    He describes the court’s floor and the reason why is in red and white, he tells us about the landscape that is visible from the window.
    But the most interesting part is the one regarding the “rolled and sealed document” held by the sergeant. Nolan sustains that the document contains Kelly’s doom and he also says that, as this story told us it has not been read at all.
    Judge Barry then passed sentence of death, and concluded with the usual formula: ‘May the Lord have mercy on your soul.’ and Ned Kelly strangely addressed to him answering:
    ‘Yes, I will meet you there!’
    A very peculiar detail reported by Nolan himself (we don’t know if truly happened) is that the justice Berry died a fortnight after Kelly’s conviction, a death in seeming related to the Kelly’s prediction.
    I would like to concluded with Andrew Sayer’s words about the “Kelly series” that I have found very useful to decode the whole “Kelly’s series” and in particular the Nolan’s “The Trial”.
    Andrew Sayer (the Director of the National Museum of Australia) when he talks about Nolan’s artworks he refers to what Nolan himself told the writer Collin Macinnes.
    Sayer reports that the main ingredients of the ‘Kelly’ series were ‘Kelly’s own words, and Rousseau, and sunlight’.

  29. Kelly’s own words: At the first exhibition of the 27 Kelly paintings (at the obscure Velasquez Gallery in Melbourne in 1948), the catalogue included quotations taken from a variety of historical sources. Kelly’s own words, the most celebrated record of which is the quasi-political, quasi-personal recital of grievance known as the ‘Jerilderie Letter’, fascinated Nolan with their blend of poetry and political engagement. Throughout his life Nolan was interested in literature and the visual arts and in many of his works sought to bring verbal images and pictures together.
    Rousseau: The overwhelming impression of the style of the Kelly paintings is of an uncomplicated, wilfully naïve execution, a quality Nolan admired in the art of the 19th-century painter and hero of the 20th century’s avant-garde, Henri Rousseau. Nolan’s admiration of Rousseau shows how determined he was to be a modern painter and how he admired French culture. As a young artist, Nolan was passionate about everything French, from the poetry of Verlaine and Rimbaud to the paintings of Cézanne and Picasso. He was fortunate enough to have access to the works of these artists in the magazines and catalogues in the up-to-the-minute library of his friends John and Sunday Reed in their home at Heide.

    Sunlight: Nolan insisted that the Kelly paintings were more than simply a series illustrating the events of Australia’s most famous bushranging story. In 1948, he wrote that the Kelly saga was ‘a story arising out of the bush and ending in the bush’. An understanding of landscape was a motivation: ‘I find the desire to paint the landscape involves a wish to hear more of the stories that take place in the landscape … which persist in the memory, to find expression in such household sayings as “game as Ned Kelly”’. The landscape is therefore a crucial part of the Kelly paintings; the story gives meaning to the place.
    Although I have just discovered Sydney Nolan’s works of art and this is the very first time for me unearthing this Australian artist I personally think that Nolan’s “Kelly series” is fitting very well the “Law and the Visual” topic.
    Nolan’s “The trial” is full of meanings and symbols and it depicts an iconical and very famous Australian case; the canvas represent a very peculiar and fundamental proceeding that involved a controversial character as Ned Kelly was.
    Even if the painting could be considered very simplistic I think that the elements represented were full of intensity and significance and I can add that they perfectly let us relieve the day when Kelly was sentenced to death.

    Roberta Di Lorenzo

  30. I felt today's lecture was of a striking importance regarding the evolutive role that had having the photographers throughout these two last centuries.
    If at the very beginning, photographers were seen as the 'spokesmen' / visual depictors of the Reality, the real Truth (showing through their arts what is really going on, especially on battlefields), they have been later more and more criticized: to what extent can they show what is really taking place (in wars) ? How far a picture can be considered as The Reality when it is actually a composite?
    And today, the debate has gone further with the involvement of revolutionary technological means of reshaping, re-editing pictures (such as the well-known photoshop)...

    This is typically current legal issues we face everyday - so that I wanted to concentrate on a particular case we've studied today:

    Frank Hurley, the australian adventurer & photographer, filmaker and writer, that was one of the first photographers to use 'composites' in his war reportings.

    He is currently called 'the mad photographer',
    because of the high risks he took taking pictures - especially during an expedition in Antartica, but also during the First World War during which he served alongside George Hubert Wilkins as the first official photographer to the Australian Imperial Forces. The troops dubbed him the ‘mad photographer’ because of his derring-do to get pictures. He took some of the only known colour photos of the war.

    The images of the third battle of Ypres in Flanders that we have seen some today are considered to be Hurley's major work of this period. Whereas he has been recognized and considered a "warrior with a camera" (positively thanks by most of the officials and authorities at that time), manipulating pictures as nobody before him, underlying the Sublime within the Morbide, some of them hardly criticized his work as being "fake" because of his technological contribution to the art of photography: manipulation/ what he called himself "composites".

    The technical practice consists in taking 2 or 3 photographs and combined them into one: therefore, while he thought to help showing what was his reality of the war (not only deadmen or bombs, but also the peaceful silence after the bombings under an astonishing skylight), his pictures were accused of being fake constructions and thus the authorities forbide him to display all of them, or only with the caption 'composite'.

    But, on the one hand, if these censurors have forgotten the artistic dimension of his photogrpahs, on the other hand it is paradoxical to qualify his work as 'fake', or 'constructed', 'manipulated', because as Pf. Manderson reminds us: all photographs are in a certain way constructed.

    Indeed, the natural thinking that a photohraph is reality is wrong: they are all culturally constructed, so that even images of war turned out to have been 'constructed' - and this is not because of 'composition' but of an artificial cultural construction of an ideology.

    In other words, and I quote the document of Manderson:
    As John Tagg explains it, the photograph reveals not the truth of an event but the underlying ideology of life’s illusions that governs its reception:
    “What lies ‘behind’ the paper or ‘behind’ the image is not reality - the referent - but reference: a subtle web of discourse through which realism is enmeshed... a whole hidden corpus of knowledge, a social knowledge that is called upon through the mechanism of connotation”.

    Salomé Lewis

  31. Last prof. Manderson's lecture about photography induced me to analyse the close relationship between LAW AND PHOTOGRAPHY. Italian law defends photography as a work in the act n.633/1941 about the ROYALTIES (then modified by "D.P.R." n.19/1979). This law defends the photographer's creativeness and recognizes his rights to do everything with own photos because he's the owner of both economic and moral rights. The legal protection changes according to the object of the photo: when the image represents people, and in particular not famous people, the right of PRIVACY forces the photographer to have the authorization of the subject portraied to the publication.. but this authorization is not necessary when the photo wants to gather information and to make well-known events happened in common places. O'SULLIAN belongs to this kind of photography,he's one of the most important photographers of XIX century thanks to his cruel reportage on American Civil War. He went on the battlefield with A.GARDNER and there he caught the most meaningful moments of the end of the conflict: "THE HARVEST OF DEATH " is the photo that kept my attention because it expresses perfectly with its dead color(or better, without its color!!) the desolation and the sadness of that land..we could image also the dull silence by watching the photo, so visual experience in this case could be also a sensitive experience.. all this thanks to the cleverness of the author who was really able to give evidence the horror of those fields in spite of the limited possibilities of photography at that time.

  32. Last lesson of prof. Manderson and Irene's comment induced me too to deepen the body of law relating to photography in Western legal systems:Generally speaking, the body of law specifically relating to photography in Western legal systems is small. However, as photography is an everyday pursuit, it is covered by the many and wide-ranging civil and criminal laws which govern society in general, libel, obscenity, and employment law.
    The legal framework for both amateur and professional practice is the same. It is in fact the application of general law to a specific activity—photography. Photographers clearly operate within society and, in so doing, have duties and responsibilities as others do. Photographic practice is therefore mainly regulated by the general laws of the country or state in which the practice is taking place, rather than by specific laws enacted to control photographers and photographic practice.
    There is an ongoing movement to harmonize some areas of law across the European Union, e.g. copyright and employment. In general, however, custom and practice need to be considered separately in each country, especially where photography is taking place in socially or politically charged circumstances. Even in the UK, where press freedom is firmly established, photographers have often collided with authorities such as the police, and the civil or criminal law has been used to restrict photographers' freedom to work unhindered, at public demonstrations or on private property. Today, copyright law in the UK is governed by the 1988 Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act (CDPA), relating to images made from 1988 onwards, and the 1956 Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act, for those created prior to 1988. Whilst there is similarity between the two Acts, the 1988 Act extended the rights of photographers in line with those enjoyed by other artists, such as authors, painters, and sculptors. The 1988 CDPA describes a photograph as ‘a recording of light or other radiation on any medium on which an image is produced or from which an image may by any means be produced, and which is not part of a film’. The phrase ‘irrespective of artistic quality’ also appears in the CDPA, which is important because a copyright is maintained whatever the quality of the photograph. In addition to many general provisions, the CDPA also covers areas which are specific to photography: photographers in employment, commissioned photography, ownership of negatives, copyright protection, duration of copyright, assignment of copyright, moral rights, false attribution, rights to privacy, copyright infringement, etc.

  33. In the USA, copyright is defined by the 1976 Copyright Act and awards a similar level of protection to ‘artistic works’ as in the UK. The duration of copyright of photographic or other artistic work in the USA is 70 years from the death of the creator of the work. Due to European harmonization, from 1996 all countries of the EU also have a duration of copyright of 70 years (retrospective for works made between 1989 and 1996).
    Because of the excesses of some elements of the media and the unethical behaviour of a few photographers, privacy is an ongoing subject of debate in Britain, with high-profile cases (usually involving tabloid newspapers) fought out expensively in the courts. This is because, at present, the UK does not have specific laws preventing the taking of photographs that infringe a person's privacy. Whatever the future may hold in this regard, for example as a consequence of rulings by the European Court of Human Rights, photographers should be aware that there are other laws that may be applied to control the acquisition and use of photographic images. This could include the laws of trespass, libel, and breach of confidence. However, there is no British equivalent to American rights of privacy and publicity.
    In the USA, whilst copyright is protected by federal law, privacy and publicity rights are subject to individual state law. While some states have such legislation, others do not. California has some of the strictest privacy laws in America, enacted in 1999 after lobbying by a group of privacy-conscious Hollywood actors.

  34. Even before the debates following the role of paparazzi in the death of Diana, princess of Wales, in Paris in 1997, France was reputedly one of Europe's most difficult environments for photography. The law of 17 July 1970 had been framed in draconian terms to protect the individual's privacy, forbidding unauthorized photography, even for private purposes, of any person, however well known, in public or private, singly or in a group, or even of their animals or other property. Particularly since the 1990s the law has been applied so rigorously that photographers, especially photojournalists, have protested strongly at its implications. A special organization, L'Observatoire de l'image, backed by photographers and other media professionals, now exists to monitor developments and lobby for change. Not only celebrities but many ordinary individuals have used the 1970 law to protect their privacy. The work of humanist documentary photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, and Ronis, many of whose photographs depicted anonymous people in the street, would probably be impossible today without the risk of legal action. Indeed, both Doisneau (for the 1952 Kiss at the Hôtel de Ville) and Ronis (for an even older picture of a Parisian flower seller) eventually found themselves in court.
    Over the years there has been a shift in what is considered to be obscene, in line with larger changes in culture and social mores. However, the notion of obscenity is subjective, creating perennial problems of definition for legislators, the police, and other agencies. In a global media environment, the fact that standards of tolerance vary from country to country (and often within countries) adds to the complexity. In the last resort, especially where there is a defence of artistic merit, boundaries may have to be established in court. Since the late 20th century, the publicity surrounding child abuse, combined with the spread of the Internet, has heightened concern about indecent pictures of children. In the UK, the 1959 Obscene Publications Acts and the 1978 Protection of Children Act (extended by the 1994 Criminal Justice Act to include not only photographs but ‘pseudo-photographs’ produced by image manipulation software) deal with this sensitive area of image making. Today, as in the past with nude or erotic photographs of adults, pictures of children involve complex problems of moral and legal judgement, and troublesome issues such as the borderline between art and pornography, the status of private family photographs, and the immunity or otherwise of materials in museums or university libraries.

  35. Mailys Formose:

    I would like to publish this comment to share my interest about the lecture concerning colonialism through art (April, 19th).

    I never though about such a relationship before, of course the one between colonialism and art was quite obvious for me but the one between colonialism trough art and the language never came to my mind.

    I found the notion of translation very interesting too, this idea that everybody has to be able to understand an idea but also that this same idea can be interpreted in different ways is, without a doubt, a matter of translation and consequently of language.

    I also understood law from a different point of view. The explanation of the Prof. Desmond Manderson provided us a tool to see law as a fiction (since it requires a effort to imagine how things are going to be in the future) and as a consequence being in perfect harmony with this idea of translation of art which is also a fiction from the moment everybody can have his/her own translation or point of view concerning a painting. It seems to be fictional because the imagination of what it is going to represent is totally different from one person to another.

    It was also quite impressive to distinguish two different and opposite meanings in the image we studied during the last class: ‘Governor Arthur’s Proclamation’. The feeling that we have at the first glance – the image of an equal society between Whites and Blacks and the fact that no matter your skin colour, you will be judged only according to your actions - is radically different to what this image really means – the fact that the idea of equality and neutrality is not respected at all, the fact that it is just a ‘trick’. It is also interesting to realize that a same painting can have meanings that far from one to another.

    Even if I appreciated the study of the image ‘Governor Arthur’s Proclamation’, I rather preferred the part on the painting called ‘Ngurrara Canvas’ (1997). Indeed, I was very curious about this form of claiming rights, I have to admit that it is quite unusual and again, at the first glance it was impossible (at least for me) to think about a piece of law. We often forget that some people in the earth do not have the same language as us and that the translation of, even the simplest things can be totally different between them and us.

    I think that when we hear that art is not only art and that it has an ultimate goal going over the artistic dimension like, for example, the fact to make people aware of something or touch them by a way or another…etc, here that saying makes sense. Finally we even have the feeling that this piece of art is first a piece of law before having an artistic role.

    Mailys FORMOSE

  36. I have done some research about Law and Visual arts, starting from one of the many interesting pictures shown by Prof.Manderson: The Leviathan. He analyzed the cover of the famous book written by T.Hobbes in 1651, a very important book for english literature,a work on the basis of modern political theories. On the cover there is a giant(metaphorical representation of the State)made up of many individuals. The monster holds a sword in one hand,symbol of the temporal power, and in the other hand a pastoral, symbol of the religious power.This because, according to hobbes, the two powers are not to be separated. It was in an era when, unlike in the past,everything was in the hands of sovereignty and soveregnty began to be a synonym
    of State. Prof.Manderson said about this:"The law is blind and the sovereignty sees everything". Surfing on the web I discovered that the Leviathan (the Hebrew monster found in the Book of Job, Hebrew Bible)was repated not only in the Hobbes' book but also in many other works, all expressions of popular culture. In Paradise Lost (Milton) the term Leviathan is used to describe the size and power of Satana, the ruler of many kingdoms;
    in 1962 the american poet George Oppen wrote a seminal poem titled "Leviathan", in which the author addresses the leviathan of the all-consuming force of mankind's own actions;
    the Leviathan appears,besides, in the last book of the 1975 "The Illuminatus!" trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson as a colossal, intelligent sea creature in the shape of a tentacled pyramid.
    DR.Karl Shoker, a british cryptozoologist of 20th century, believes that the Leviathan is a myth inspired by sightings of a Mosasaur-type sea monster.
    In Steven Brust's novel "To Reign in Hell", Leviathan is female and is one of seven elder inhabitants of Hell who conspire to prevent Yahweh from creating the Earth as a sanctuary for himself and those loyal to him.
    Leviathan is even the name of a novel by Scott Westerfeld about an alternate history in World war I.
    In the field of music,instead, the american progressive metal band Mastodon named their second album "Leviathan";
    Neal Morse, rock composer, wrote a song called "Leviathan", a song based on all biblical references to the creature.
    Cinema and Tv have dealt several times with the Biblical Giant: "Leviathan" is a horror film(1989) about a hideous creature that stalks and kills a group of people in a sealed environment;
    in the Disney film "Atlantis: the last empire", the Leviathan is a gigantic Atlantean war machine which looks like a mechanical lobster. It serves as the guardian of the entrance to Atlantis;
    in the tv series 'Supernatural', the Leviathans are an ancient race of monsters that were freed from Purgatory when the angel Castiel absorbed its entire population.
    At last numerous references to the giant are both in video games and in japanese anime.

  37. During the lessons with prof. Desmond Manderson, we analyzed the relationship between visual art and the law over the centuries. Paintings and images, which have a great communicative power, have played a crucial role as witnesses. Recently photography has added to the traditional painting techniques. photography has helped to document of actions in violation of the legislative requirements and of the moral law that should be inherent in every individual.
    My attention was caught by the photos that documented the massacre at My Lai: During the Vietnam War, American soldiers have decimated innocent civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly. A U.S. helicopter on patrol, aware of the massacre, landed to prevent its continuation. The fact was kept hidden till 1969, when a reporter discovered the story and published the photos of the massacre.
    From this story is evident the importance of the photographs and its capability to document and to report what happened. Following the publication of the photos was possible to convict those responsible for the murders.
    Prof. Manderson showed us a photograph taken by Robert Haeberle depicting a Vietnamese family in the few moments before their slaughter. It is evident in this photo the dual impact: the objective force that allows you to witness the brutal acts carried out; but also the expressive power, which transmits the despair and fear. The pictures of the massacre, however, are numerous, and portray not only scenes agitated and anguished, but also the desolation and destruction that followed: dozens of dead bodies piled, mothers and children killed while working in the fields, bodies thrown into a pit , a woman with a gun pointed to his head. Unfortunately, these are just a few examples.
    These photos were terrible but essential in order to punish the perpetrators and bring them to justice (unfortunatly the culprits have been unlocked). Seeing photographs of My Lai Massacre can evoke doubt in the military, and in humanity as a whole. However, we can use these images to remind us catastrophic errors we shall never return to.
    Diana Oro Nobili