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Classic genres of the fine arts are characterized by not requiring any sounds or voice. However, this nonverbal quality allows works of art to become a challenge for art history, which is bound to language and writing. The expression "silent poetry" used for painting or architecture is an eloquent indicator for the communicative effect of forms of expression, which are measured by language, but whose silent gestures nevertheless have to be judged using their own categories. The topos of the underlying non-describability of art refers to aspects like aura and atmosphere, opening the wide field of pictorial rhetoric, and leading up to the museum practices used to hang paintings.
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