This essay argues for a different critical approach to those writings on painting that María Zambrano selected and assembled in her book "Algunos lugares de la pintura". Her metaphysical exegesis, although at odds with the linguistic tradition of Art History, has relevant points of contact with that phenomenology of the image which has been termed the ‘iconic turn’. The interdisciplinary perspectives opened up among various scholars by Gottfried Boehm, Hans Belting, Georges Didi-Huberman, privilege the hermeneutics of the viewer in the ‘chasm’ between the visible and the invisible, between what is evident and what is latent. The dialectical image, derived from Walter Benjamin, fuses semiotic understanding with unexpected emotion: an habitual practice in Maria Zambrano, especially after the sixties when she shared with Ramon Gaya the idea of painting as movement which overwhelms equally the painter and the viewer. Particularly representative from this point of view is the essay written in Madrid in 1987 on Giorgione’s The Tempest, a painting seen in Venice many years before. In her memory of that emotive encounter Zambrano gathers one upon the other various dialectical images to the point where she inscribes within that sixteenth-century Venetian painting the features of her prolonged exile.
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