Kommunikativa porträtt : En visuell kulturstudie om hur det symboliska bruket i fyra svenska drottningporträtt har förändrats från 1600-tal till nutid

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Konstvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: For many centuries, humans have used portraits as a tool to understand our surroundings, a way to anchor what has happened. The portrait acts as a mirror of the changes in society, and the message of the portrait changes according to the conditions of society. But the basic purpose of the portrait remains the same, to tell something about the person portrayed and a way of documenting it for posterity. The purpose of this study is to examine of the symbolic use in four Swedish queen portraits between 1654 and 2020. It examines how Queen Hedvig Eleonora, Queen Lovisa Ulrika, Queen Victoria and Queen Silvia are represented in official portraits to enhance their credibility by using visual symbols in relation to their roles as Swedish queens. Through biographical research and semiotic image analysis, the four portraits of the study are examined in relation to their society. The material is then studied with the support of a theoretical perspective focusing on the social context and visual culture. The study shows that a certain symbolism is timeless, the symbolism that is based on human genetic understandings of social relations. Other symbolism, however, is more time-specific, that which is based on contemporary cultural norms. However, it is not possible to see any real progress in the function of the four portraits. They can rather be seen as snapshots representing the time of their production. What has changed, however, is the medium and semiotics. The way the portraits are produced according to the chosen audience and which visual symbols are used for which message. However, this is not a linear development either, but a constant process of change that today is going faster and faster thanks to today’s society. The study also shows that the selected four portraits reflect their own society and have adapted to their respective target audience, as the portrait loses its point if the viewer does not understand the message. It does not matter how much the queens try to influence their surroundings with their portraits if the viewer does not understand the intention. A portrait does not live its own life, but lives thanks to the viewer.

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