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Faces Demanding Attention

Author(s): Richard Brilliant

Source: Gesta, Vol. 46, No. 2, Contemporary Approaches to the Medieval Face (2007), pp.
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the International Center of
Medieval Art
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Faces Demanding Attention

Columbia University, Emeritus

The exhibition of medieval sculpture held at the Metropol
itan Museum of Art, New York, in 2006 consisted of heads,
once forcibly detached from their original contexts, and busts,

representing sacred and secular beings. Apart from its sub

stantial contribution to the broader study of medieval art in
the West, the conception of this exhibition displayed two dis
tinct but complementary principles of organization: a Post
modern interest in and preference for the decontextualized

fragment, which was given new meaning as an object pre

sented to the contemporary viewer; and the exploitation of
the unconscious neuronal response to the human face, which
stimulates an immediate sense of connection with the repre

sented other, transcending the temporal and cultural gap

between the viewer and that other. Although most, if not all,

objects in museums have been removed from their original

sites and hence from the historical circumstances estab
lishing the significance of those sites, a collection devoted to
the display of recognizably human faces, like portraits, dem
onstrates a social connection with the viewer unlike that
obtained with other forms of artistic imagery, and thus one
worthy of consideration as such.

electronic media. However uncertain the integration of the

flooding bits of information delivered by the media may be,
there exists a belief that sense can be made of them, that some
meaningful context can be established for them, in sum, that
the big picture in which the fragments take their proper place

can be found. Doing so requires an effort to reestablish the

whole of something by connecting the bit we have in the
present with the form in the past from which it is derived.
If modernity can be understood as involving both an attempt
to free oneself from the past and a more selective, discontin

uous use of the past, Postmodernism then involves an inten

sification of that separation, on the one hand, and, on the other,

the mining of fragments from an encyclopedic repertoire in

order to insert them into a framing context, comparable to the

act of spoliation.4
Charles Little, the curator of the medieval collection
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and organizer of the
splendid 2006 exhibition there, entitled Set in Stone: The Face

in Medieval Sculpture, responded to a Postmodern attitude

former bearer, while its destruction and/or subsequent public

display signifies either the termination of its numinous power

that informed his museological approach. The exhibition was

filled with fragmentary remnants of the past?sculptures of
detached heads and busts?that attract attention not only as
worthy objects of medieval art but, in addition, as represen
tations of faces to which we, as sentient human beings, are
inevitably drawn. As a result, we viewers have to consider
their effect on our consciousness despite their ambiguous
condition as relics and as artworks. The "presentness" of the
works on display underlay their very attraction. It depended
especially on the perception of the mimetic correspondence
between the sculpted medieval heads we saw on plinths and
in vitrines and the faces of human beings we encounter in
daily life, and in our readiness to transfer the experience from
one realm to the other.5 The direct encounter between the

or the transfer of that power to another as a trophy.3 Whether

viewer and the sculpted face becomes the means whereby the

attached to the body as part of the whole or detached as a

disembodied fragment, the human head-face combination
retains its power to draw attention to itself not only as the
fundamental human referent but also as the repository of

viewer makes immediate contact with the medieval beings,

The human head is like a package whose contents have

spilled out, revealing the face, the prime vehicle of expression,

the principal marker of personal identity.1 If facial expression

responds to the interior life of the person, physiognomic par

ticulars serve as visual guides for the viewer in establishing

recognition and the possibility of social interaction. No wonder,

then, that the head and its symbolic burden, the face, have
functioned for so long in human culture as the metonymous
sign for the corporeal whole.2 No wonder, too, that the forcible

removal of the head from the body means the death of its

represented in these works of art, from which some sense of

their nature but also of our response to them can be gained,

comparable to the familiar dynamic of the social situation.

sources of meaning both present and past.

Roberta Smith's fine review of the exhibition in the New York

The experience of this fragmentation of the body, and

necessarily of the self it once contained, is phenomenologi
cally close to a Postmodern sensibility, exposed to the frag

Times (29 September 2006) was appropriately entitled "The

Countenance of Humanity," marking the connection funda
mental to our rapport in the present with these sculpted images

mentation of experience in a global society served by the new

made centuries ago.

GESTA 46/2 ? The International Center of Medieval Art 2008 91

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FIGURE 1. (PLATE 2) Attributed to Nicola de Bartolomeo da Foggia,

Crowned Bust of a Woman, possibly Sigilgaita Rufolo, marble, Ravello, 1272,

Ravello, Museo del Duomo (photo: courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of


Two busts manifest the potential in this human connec

tion very clearly: a marble bust of a woman, crowned, possibly

Sigilgaita Rufolo, from Ravello, dated 1272, and a Flemish

reliquary bust of a companion of St. Ursula, made about 250

FIGURE 2. Reliquary Bust of a Companion of St. Ursula, painted and gilded

oak, Flanders, ca. 1520-30, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no.
17.190.728 (photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

features: two eyes, flanking a nose, set above a mouth, arranged

more or less symmetrically around a central axis. Admittedly,
these elements are common to most vertebrate animals, but

their assemblage on the frontal plane of the head, parallel to

its vertical mass, is characteristic of the human species. The

years later (Figs. 1 and 2).6 Comprising the upper or midchest

to the top of the head, the bust form is a highly convention

familiar gestalt becomes conclusive and swiftly leads to an

alized image, suggesting an implied completeness of the

urge to connect, to recognize emotion in the special relation

absent body. The artistic convention of the truncated figure,

so clearly dominated by the head, intensifies the immediacy

ships common to human beings, as social beings.

Plutarch, in Magna moralia 2.15.1213a, writes signifi

of the en-face relationship. It is comparable to the I-You re

cantly on this special relationship:

lationship that comes to the fore when one encounters another

person who stands close by, engaged with us in some form of
interaction that restricts the field of vision to the upper body

and head.

The head from Ravello resembles a portrait in its careful,

anatomical representation of the female face, especially with

its distinctive curving nose (Fig. 1). Both it and the clearly

For it is the most difficult thing, as some of the wise

have said, to know oneself, and also the most pleasant
(for self knowledge is also pleasant). Yet we are not able
to see ourselves from within ourselves.... Just as, there

fore, whenever we want to see our own face, we look

gendered companion of St. Ursula, fitted as a reliquary bust

at it by gazing into a mirror, in the same way, when

ever we want to know ourselves, we can do so by look

(Fig. 2), elicit an empathetic response because they possess

ing at a friend. For a friend, as we say, is a second "I."8

a high degree of "faciality."7 By faciality we mean our ready

response to a singular shape, the human head, limited to minor
variation to include indications of its fundamental constitutive

distinct from oneself, with the potential of establishing inter

I want to pursue this notion of the second "I" as something


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particularly when addressing the worshiper in a context of

reverence where the pairs of eyes meet face to face, on not
quite even terms.
The reliquary bust with its detailed features and its
incorporation of physical remains strengthens the illusion of

presence, with almost a superabundance of evidence. Some

times, there is very little to go on, yet the impulse to recog
nize a human image in the material remains very strong. The

mutilated, neckless head of a French cleric of the fifteenth

century, part of a tomb sculpture vandalized during the

Revolution (Fig. 4), brings to mind the image of John the
Baptist's head on a platter in Salome's hands.11 The cleric's
head exists as a disassociated fragment, detached from its
historical past but, still, not lacking in the power to elicit
attention because it remains so readily identifiable as "human"
despite the loss of everything else corporeal.
Perhaps the reductive authority of the cleric's head can
be better understood by turning to a very famous work of
art by Constantin Brancusi of about 1910, his Sleeping Muse

(Fig. 5).12 Brancusi simplified his Sleeping Muse to the

idealized shape of a detached head; there is no body, not even

a neck. The facial features, although beautifully composed

in every respect, are reduced to subtle abstractions. While
the completeness of Brancusi's sculpture as a work of art is
unquestionable, the juxtaposition of these two heads raises
questions of aesthetics and perception. In the case of the
medieval French cleric, we have the abstractive effect of
FIGURE 3. Reliquary Bust of St. Yrieix, gilded silver, rock crystal, gems,
and glass over wooden core, France, Limousin, second quarter of the 13th
century, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 17.190.352 (photo:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

accident, that is, the head that was once part of a larger whole
and that has been deliberately detached from something else;

subjectivity when we consider reliquary busts as a class of

conditions our reception of Brancusi's work. From other

examples of Brancusi's sculpture, his own testimony, and
the critical response to his work, we know that he was in

sanctified objects. The approximately life-size, silver reliquary

bust of St. Yrieix of the early thirteenth century (Fig. 3)9 or
the stupendous reliquary bust of St. Rossore by Donatello, now
in Pisa,10 fleshes out more completely the physical presence
of the revered saint. When the reliquary bust preserves a pur

ported physical remnant of the individual so honored, the

bust manifests a coincidence not only of the countenance

in Brancusi's Sleeping Muse, we have something that the

artist made as complete as we see it. Therefore, the matter of
the artist's intention becomes part of the aesthetic basis that

volved in creating images that were the essence of the thing

Whereas in Brancusi's Sleeping Muse the "essentialist
view" belongs primarily to the artist and only secondarily to

the viewer, in the head of the cleric, the essentialism rests

of that person but also part of his remains, as if to confirm

solely in the response of the viewer. Thus, a comparable

the actuality and authenticity of the representation. The aura

but quite different frame of reference has been established,

emanating from such a reliquary bust further endows the

whereby the experience of incompleteness can resolve itself

work with an awesome power to intensify the connection with

a viewer cognizant of its sanctity.

into an aesthetic whole of fully signifying forms.

The isolation of the head from its corporeal envelope has
been exploited in a challenging lithograph by Paul Wunderlich
that offers to viewers a punning portrait of George Sand (ca.

Reliquary heads that contain various, noncapital body

parts also pose the mind/body problem in a special mode of
metonymous fragmentation. The placement of a leg bone
in the head of a saint who is otherwise commemorated by a
reliquary bust may be more complex in its referential func

1983; Fig. 6).13 Because the name George Sand was itself a
pseudonym, Wunderlich has investigated the notion of masked

itself. We have, of course, in the reliquary bust a prime model

identity. Her face hovers in space, physically distinct from

the corporeal receptacle in which it could have been placed,
had he so desired. We, in turn, could place it mentally into the
total bust form we see as part of the construction of a more

for self-identification, a presence that has a certain personality,

fully engaged, more fully realized, body. In this way the artist

tion than we are sometimes led to believe, although comple

mentary in spirit to the symbolic partiality of the bust form


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FIGURE 4. Head of a Cleric, possibly a portrait, red sand

stone, eastern France, mid-15th century, New York, The Met

FIGURE 5. Constantin Brancusi, Sleeping Muse, bronze, ca. 1910, The Art Institute of
Chicago (photo: from Geist, Brancusi).

ropolitan Museum of Art, no. 47.42 (photo: The Metropolitan

Museum of Art).

deliberate mutilation during the French Revolution, when

tion of time; they often imagine the missing parts as if they

were present, responding to an inchoate sense of the whole in
its former original state. The Belvedere Torso by Apollonius,
in the Vatican, a marble sculpture almost two thousand years
old, lacks not only most of the lower limbs but also the arms,
upper chest, head, and, thus, the face. It was much esteemed

heads were knocked off medieval monuments, because it was

by Michelangelo because he was extraordinarily receptive to

practically easy to do. Why that occurred at all seems to indi

cate a hostile, focused desire, magical in its symbolic actions,
to wreck images as if they possessed unwanted powers.14 The
impetus to eliminate the head acknowledges its authority in

the language of the human body.17 Yet, despite the destruction

wrought by time of so many of these identifying features, we

finding its release by destroying the symbolic locus of the

power that is concentrated in the head. Iconoclastic behead

looked in the original. The body as a platform for the head

and for those details iconographers love to explore is some

suggests the writer's alter ego, that self presented by other

names and by the peculiar confirmation of facial features to
manifest another kind of person, that other to whom we refer
in the third person or with pseudonyms. Many of the heads
in the exhibition at the Metropoltian are the result of acts of

ings achieved with the aid of the guillotine in late-eighteenth

century France eliminated the status and identity of the once
powerful, as well as the life of the victim, while the separated
head could be displayed a proof of the deed.15 Actual deface
ment and physical separation seem to go hand in hand both in
terms of the ways in which many of the medieval objects con

can, without venturing into some insolvable iconographie

puzzle, project onto the sculpture how we think it must have

thing that is central neither to our current appreciation of the

ancient marble sculpture nor to the aesthetic enjoyment we

derive from what is, on the one hand, a damaged work, and,
on the other, an extraordinarily powerful survivor of Greco
Roman art. Attempts to reconstitute the original may be bizarre,

but only because the desire to do so is so strong and the evi

tinue to exist in their present reduced form. This is shown

in the exhibition and in the lithograph by Wunderlich, in
which both actions, defacement and physical separation, are

dence so weak. These efforts are complicated by the intuitive

sense that if only the statue still possessed a namable identity
we would be able to see it more clearly, to know it better. This

graphically expressed in the same visual field. The deliberate

intention to deface, to destroy identity, can be intensified when
coupled with the wish to leave the mark of erasure still visible,
as Jacques Derrida has noted, in order to make the action of

impulse, which goes beyond the question of iconography, is

very human.
We are fortunate, however, to have both in the Metro

elimination itself memorable.16

Connoisseurs, art historians, and archaeologists of Greek

and Roman art are experienced at looking at works of art that
are severely damaged, whether intentionally or by the opera

politan Museum of Art and elsewhere very clear indications

of the transferability not only of heads but of identities. Two
recumbent lid figures from a third-century Roman sarcophagus
in the gardens of the Terme Museum in Rome incontrovert
ibly represent a marital pair. The individual portrait heads are


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^ ^ ^ ^ !^ ^^^^ ^
FIGURE 6. Paul Wunderlich, Portrait of George Sand, lithograph, ca. 1983 (photo: author).

FIGURE 7. Headless, Recumbent Husband and Wife, Roman sarcophagus, mid-3rd century, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano (photo: author).


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FIGURE 8. Portrait of Roman Empress Flacilla, marble, ca. 380-90, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 47.100.51 (photo: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art).

FIGURE 9. Recumbent Husband and Wife, Roman sarcophagus, early 3rd century, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 1993.11.1 (photo: The
Metropolitan Museum of Art).


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significant comment on this distinction, whose cause is

unknown. However, the lack of completion of the wife's
intended portrait, in comparison with her husband's, dem
onstrates how categorically significant her face is. It functions
as an absolute identifying sign, of that self that once was hers,

specifying more than her generic status as his wife, lying

with her husband on the sarcophagus lid, as if it were their
marriage couch?forever. The Roman sculptor fully formed
her recumbent body and blocked out the shape of her head,

coiffure, and gross features. The absence of facial detail in

close proximity to her husband's particular portrait makes the

incompleteness of her image very disturbing?(perhaps she

died too soon to be portrayed)?and it prevents the develop
ment of empathy that makes portraits such compelling images.
The encounter with the head of a smiling angel, a sculpture
of thirteenth-century French origin, sets up a different expec

tation in the viewer (Fig. 10).20 Although none of us has

ever seen an angel, the angel's face exhibits what we call an

"angelic smile," which we believe we see in the faces of

babies. Furthermore, the smile itself is a very significant
ingredient in the expression of the face, an indication of its

interiority of feeling, which we like to think, or hope, is a

sign of angelic favor. Angels, we must remember, are not
human; their countenance cannot be more than humanlike,
imposed as a kind of masking device that has the function,
service, and value of creating an outer-directed expression,
intended not only to be visible and intelligible but to make
FIGURE 10. (PLATE 3) Head of a Smiling Angel, limestone, France, possi
bly from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, ca. 1250, New York, The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, no. 1990.132 (photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

the beholder respond in some positive way. The benign aspect

of Epicurus' images in Classical Antiquity were similarly con

fected to elicit appositive responses among those welcomed

by his philosophy.21

Physiognomic expression, the flexion of the facial

missing, and only sculpted hollows remain for the portraits
that once were inserted into them, perhaps by a portrait spe
cialist (Fig. 7).18 The original heads were not knocked off: the
hollows offer no proof of deliberate defacement. Instead, the
heads were probably lost at some time or stolen. They con
form to the practice of using portrait substitutions that could be
inserted as needed or as desired instruments of identification.

musculature, has recently been studied by cognitive psychol

ogists. The literature of the past few years in that field dis
cusses mirror neurons, elements in the brain that work almost

automatically, if not completely automatically, in two ways.

First, they influence us to conform facially almost imme

diately and directly to the facial expressions of those whom
we encounter in the world; second, this particular power,

The handsome marble head of the Roman empress Flaccilla,

effected by prior wiring of our brains, leads us to respond to

the motions and actions of others, not in terms of our external,

of the late fourth century, was carved for such an insertion

physical activities but in terms of our internal, mental activity.22

into a body probably reduced to a bust (Fig. 8).19 The bust

In layman's terms:

itself served as a framework of anatomical reference, not as

an item of identification; the head functioned exclusively for
that purpose.

Mirror neurons track the emotional flow, movement, and

With these examples in mind, we might say that the head

and the face it bears are ontologically significant, the basis of
identity or identifiability, categorical signs of the particularized
self in public, as represented by the artist. The Metropolitan

this sensed state in our own brain by stirring in our

brain the same area active in the other person. Mirror
neurons offer a neural mechanism that explains emo
tional contagion. . . . This brain-to-brain link may also

Museum of Art contains a Roman sarcophagus lid, of the

early third century, which represents another marital pair. The
husband's sculpted portrait is complete, whereas the wife's is

not (Fig. 9). Now, I do not want to make any sort of socially

even intentions of the person we are with, and replicate

account for our feelings of rapport, which research finds

depend in part on extremely rapid synchronization of

people's posture, vocal pacing, and movements as they


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Mirror neurons therefore establish a basic human connection,

transcending the boundaries of culture and time.

Since medieval artists had no scientific knowledge of

mirror neurons, their images of angels emerge out of prac
tical experience. These astute crafters of human images had
discovered a means whereby we as observers in general?and
as reverent observers in particular?would find in images of
angels, inhuman or superhuman beings as they might be, a
means of inciting an automatic response in the viewer that
would conform to the image's own expression, and thereby
elevate our spirits. We are thus forced to respond to a reper

toire of imagery that makes psychological demands on us.

However deprived of original context, these images must be
looked at not simply as fragments loosened from the past but
also as elemental stimuli that even now work their power on
the viewer. Empathy seems to have few historical boundaries,
and it drives the viewer to create associations with a portrait

image, especially one that can lead to satisfying, if wholly

imagined, identification.

Such is the case with the so-called Capitoline Brutus

(Fig. II).24 One of the most famous of all Roman portraits,
the Brutus is dated by some scholars to the second century
bce; more recently others have read it as a fictive portrait of
an idealized Republican type from the time of Augustus. The

Capitoline Brutus was probably never retrieved through ar

chaeological excavation. For centuries it has been intimately
associated with early Roman history. Yet the name is an inven

tion, of long standing to be sure, because this "Brutus" was

thought to look so much like the original Brutus, the sixth
century patriotic regicide, that later generations imputed, or
imposed, this fictitious identity on this formidable artwork. It

is natural to assume, given the specificity of the expression

and the physiognomic detail, that a historically real person

was portrayed by the unknown artist of the Capitoline Brutus.
Because such portraits did not exist in Rome in the sixth cen

tury, many scholars believe the bronze portrait must be much

later. Yet, its lifelike character so impresses the beholder and
elicits such a spontaneous response to its demanding authority
even now that the Capitoline Brutus resembles, in effective
ness, those other pseudo-portraits like reliquary busts. To be
placed in contact with the "soul" of another is the fruit of the
empathetic response to another human being, which bridges

the interactive gap between I and Thou, or between me and

you. The response lies at a level lower than conscious thought
and forms an atemporal relationship to the represented other,
especially in the face of such a powerful work as the Capitoline

Brutus or Donatello's St. Rossore.

In the case of such powerful images, phenomenology, as

I have tried to explore it, pushes history aside. Even though
some medieval art historians might be shocked at the notion

FIGURE 11. The Capitoline Brutus, bronze, Roman head of Augustan date
on 3rd-century bust (photo: author).

the power of the impulse to establish a social connection, part

of our behavior as human beings, is itself ahistorical or trans

historical?that is, not so much out of time but across all

time. One need not be an art historian or a medievalist to

respond to the objects on display in the marvelous exhibition

at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Great aesthetic pleasure
can be derived from contemplating them, from relishing the
encounter with another being so beautifully present, so thrust

upon our consciousness. One might say here that, looking

at heads like these, we may presume to think that we are in
contact with the souls of long-departed or otherworldly beings,
preserved in objects made of stone or metal from ages past.
The strength of the induced response to those souls, or beings,

brings the consciousness of our place in the world into full

relief and elicits from us that immediate grasp of acknowl
that history could be dispensed with in considering these
heads?and I do not suggest that this is inevitably the case? edged affinity, so natural and so pleasurable.


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1. An earlier version of this essay was delivered at the symposium in
honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the International Center of Medieval

Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14 October 2006. The sym

posium was presented in conjunction with the exhibition Set in Stone:
The Face of Medieval Sculpture; a book with the same title, edited by
Charles T. Little and published by the museum in 2006, includes a fully

illustrated and documented catalogue of all the objects exhibited. Ref

erence to these works cited here will be indicated by Set in Stone, no. xx.

2. E. H. Gombrich, "The Mask and the Face: The Perception of Physio

gnomic Likeness in Life and Art," in Art, Perception and Reality, ed.

M. Mandelbaum (Baltimore, 1972), 1-46; and R. Brilliant, "The Meto

nymous Face," Social Research, 67/1 (2000), 25-46.
3. See C. Dupeux, P. Jetzler, and J. Wirth, eds., Iconoclasme, vie et mort

de l'image m?di?vale (Bern, 2001); and Xavier Dectot's article in this

issue of Gesta.

4. After R. Sennett, "Fragments against the Ruin: Coping with an

Unbounded Present," Times Literary Supplement, 8 February 1991, 6,

a review of A. Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity (Oxford,

1991); Dale Kinney and the author chaired a colloquium on spoliation
at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA,
in 2006; papers from it are being prepared for publication.

5. On "presence," see H. U. Gumbrecht, The Production of Presence:

What Meaning Cannot Convey (Stanford, 2004).
6. Fig. 1: Set in Stone, no. 66; Fig. 2: Set in Stone, no. 78, no. 17.190.728.
On the meaning of the bust, see I. Lavin, "On the Sources and
Meaning of the Renaissance Portrait Bust," Art Quarterly, 33/3 (1970),
207-26; P. Curtis et al., eds., Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait

Bust (Leeds, 2000); J. Kohl and R. M?ller, eds., Kopf-Bild: Die B?ste
in Mittelalter und fr?hen Neuzeit (Munich, 2007); and in general, see
G. Simmel, "The Aesthetic Significance of the Face," in Essays in So
ciology, Philosophy, and Aesthetics, ed. . . Wolff (1901; New York,

1959), 276-81.

11. Fig. 4: Set in Stone, no. 59. On the Baptist's disembodied head, see the
article by Annemarie Weyl Carr in this issue of Gesta.

12. New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Constantin Brancusi,

1876-1957 (New York, 1969), by S. Geist, 44; New York, Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum, Constantin Brancusi: The Essence of Things
(New York, 2004), which emphasizes the reductive aspect of Brancusi's
sculpture and vision.

13. See R. Brilliant, Portraiture (Cambridge, MA, 1991), 62-65.

14. In precisely this context, see the article by Xavier Dectot in this issue

of Gesta.

15. For decapitations during the French Revolution, see R. James, "Behead

ings," Representations, 35 (1991), 21-51; also E. Varner, "Execution

in Effigy: Severed Heads and Decapitated Statues in Imperial Rome,"
in Roman Bodies: Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century, ed. A. Hopkins
and M. Wyke (London, 2005), 67-83.
16. On the complexity of remembering and forgetting, see J. Derrida, The

Work of Mourning (Chicago, 2001); on the interrelationship between

commemoration and the overt destruction of visual reference, see H. I.
Flower, The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political

Culture (Chapel Hill, NC, 2006), 143-48, 235-46, and passim.

17. On the Belvedere Torso and its postantique history and attempts to
identify the sculpture as Ajax, see Munich, Glyptothek, and Rome,
Vatican Museum, Der Torso: Ruhm und R?tsel (Munich and the Vatican,

1998), by R. W?nsche.
18. A. Giuliano, ed., Museo Nazionale Romano: Le Sculture, 1.7.1 (Rome,
1984), no. 11.11, 24, 25.
19. Fig. 8: Set in Stone, no. 54.

20. Fig. 10: Set in Stone, no. 17.

21. On the benign, inviting portraits of Epicurus, see B. Frischer, The

7. The term faciality comes from G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, A Thousand

Plateaus, trans. B. Massumi (Minneapolis, 1987), 167-91 and passim,

where it is discussed in the context of subjectivity.

8. Quoted by S. Bartsch, The Mirror of the Self (Chicago, 2006), 53;

see M. Meslin, "Significations rituelles et symboliques du miroir," in
Perennitas: Studi in Onore di Angelo Brelich (Rome, n.d.), 327-41;
and C. Armstrong, "Reflections on the Mirror: Painting, Photography,

and the Self-Portraits of Edgar Degas," Representations, 22 (1988),


Sculpted Word: Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient

Greece (Berkeley, 1982), 87-128, 231-40.

22. For recent scientific investigations of the neuronal response, see
G. Rizzolatti, L. Fogassi, and V. Gallese, "Mirrors in the Mind,"
Scientific American, 295/5 (November 2006), 54-61; M. Iacoboni et al.,
"Grasping the Intentions of Others with One's Own Mirror Neuron

System," Plos Biology, 3/3 (2005), 529-35; and V. Gallese, . E. Eagle,

and R Migone, "Intentional Attunement: Mirror Neurons and the Neural

Underpinnings of Interpersonal Relations," Journal of the American

Psychoanalytic Association, 55 (2007), 131-76.

9. Fig. 3: Set in Stone, no. 72.

10. For the Reliquary of St. Rossore by Donatello in the Museo di San
Matteo, Pisa, see L. Planiscig, Donatello, 3rd rev. ed. (Vienna, 1939), 39,
figs. 28 and 29: H. W. Janson, The Sculpture of Donatello (Princeton,

1957), 1: pis. 81-84, 2:56-59; and B. A. Burnett and D. G. Wilkins,

Donatello (New York, 1984), 184-87.

23. D. Goleman, New York Times, 10 October 2006.

24. See C. R Presicce, "Il Bruto Capitolino: Ritratto Ideale di un Vir Illus
tris," Bullettino Communale, 98 (1997), 43-104, presenting a per
suasive argument that this "old Republican" portrait was an intentional

Augustan fabrication.


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PLATE 1. (Little and Maines Figure 3) Three heads from the Chartres Cathedral choir screen, as displayed in Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture,
left to right: Head of Joseph, Head of a King, Head of Herod (photo: C. Little).

PLATE 2. (Brilliant Figure 1) Attributed to Nicola de Bartolomeo da

Foggia, Crowned Bust of a Woman, possibly Sigilgaita Rufolo, marble,
Ravello, 1272, Ravello, Museo del Duomo (photo: courtesy of The Met
ropolitan Museum of Art).

PLATE 3. (Brilliant Figure 10) Head of a Smiling Angel, limestone, France,

possibly from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, ca. 1250, New York, The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, no. 1990.132 (photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

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