Looking backward. The rhetoric of the back in visual satire

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Satire can be confronting. It questions all kinds of issues of politics, society andmorality, often from a marginal position. By confronting one issue, the satiristturns his back on others, leaving the reader or spectator behind. This paperinvestigates some of the spatial strategies in visual satire from the early and latermodern period, for instance in the work of Giandomenico Tiepolo and JamesGillray, taking a special interest in the rhetoric of the back and the satirical gaze.It argues that the representation of the backs of onlookers to a scene helps todirect the satirical gaze.


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