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Les analyses sémiologiques de l’image : l’iconographie du deuxième âge du Fer

Abstract : The methods of semiology, first developed for the analysis of texts, are here extended to the consideration of La Tène decorative schemes, which appear to have been a key means of visual communication in their time. This is apparent from a study of the Épiais-Rhus scabbard which displays an ornamental composition that reveals purposes that certainly extended beyond simply its attractiveness as decoration. A semiological analysis of the design follows and is based on teasing out the different stages in the construction of images, first by isolating their elementary building blocks - signs and motifs - and then proceeding to a consideration of the combination of these, and then to establish the syntax or the mathematical principles underlying the compositions. The first levels of such an analysis, which may be termed semi- otic, deal with matters of technological comparison. The separation in time of the use of various techniques allows the period when particular elements were made to be fixed with greater precision : this is particularly the case with sword-scabbards. Pre-Roman scuplture from the Midi provides a further example where the criteria that have been used to evaluate it can be challenged, and this paper will attempt to do. Taking into account the revised chronological position of Early La Tène decorated weapons, the tools of semiology may be be brought to bear with greater effectiveness in the analysis of the design elements of the period. If the precise semantic decoding of the images of Celtic art remains a distant prospect, detailed consideration of them makes plain their independence on an iconographie level from the contemporary repertoire of the Mediterranean world.
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André Rapin. Les analyses sémiologiques de l’image : l’iconographie du deuxième âge du Fer. Olivier Buchsenschutz; Alain Bulard; Marie-Bernadette Chardenoux; Nathalie Ginoux. Décors, images et signes de l’âge du Fer européen. Actes du XXVIe colloque de l’Association française pour l’étude de l’âge du Fer (Paris et Saint-Denis, 9-12 mai 2002), Supplément à la Revue archéologique du Centre de la France (24), FERACF, pp.49-62, 2003, 978-2-913272-09-5. ⟨halshs-02526531⟩

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