How Pictures Tell Stories: Essays on Pictorial Narrativity

In the humanities, narratology has become a growing field of interest in recent decades. Quite frequently, storytelling has been associated with verbal discourses, but, as this book argues, other media, such as the visual arts, often tell stories too. While among art historians the narrative aspects of visual art have constituted a prevalent focus of interest, systematic and theoretical treatments of narrative and temporal imagery have remained largely absent.

This book serves to bridge the gap between a language-oriented narratology and art history, examining some basic and regularly occurring narrative aspects of pictures from a cognitive and semiotic point of view. It will appeal to both scholars of narratology and undergraduate students.


Michael Ranta, PhD, has been conferred the title of Associate Professor in Art History by Stockholm University, Sweden. His principal research focus includes art history, aesthetics, cognitive psychology, semiotics, and (pictorial) narratology. He has been a Research Fellow at Lund and Linnaeus Universities, Sweden and at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. His doctoral dissertation “Mimesis as the Representation of Types: The Historical and Psychological Basis of an Aesthetic Idea” (2000) focused on cognitive psychology and its relevance for visual studies. In continuation of this work, he has since published numerous articles on pictorial narratology.

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ISBN: 1-5275-8335-X

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-8335-1

Release Date: 26th May 2022

Pages: 175

Price: £69.99

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