Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2017

Difficulties in Reading Images: Diversity and Internationality in Image Reception

From the book Aesthetics Today
Jianping Gao


People often mistakenly think that spoken and written languages are national while paintings and music are universal. However, a profound misunderstanding lies in this claim. Literature is recognized, accepted, and appreciated by means of symbols-and is therefore said to be national-, but this also applies to the visual arts such as painting, music or dance. Literature can be understood only through translation, but even translation may fail to remove language barriers so that only partial and not-so-deep understanding can be achieved. In fact, more or less the same thing can be said about painting, music, dance and other forms of art. This article is focused on painting.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston