Osvaldo Raggio

Immagini e verità. Pratiche sociali, fatti giuridici e tecniche cartografiche

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Keywords:

The topic of this essay is the relation between the verbal and the figurative description of facts. The essay examines the tensions and connections between the verbal description and the graphic representation of facts, and the development of rational cartography; the context is the establishment of facts and legal evidence in an 18th century jurisdictional dispute over territorial boundaries between the Republic of Genoa and the Duchy of Parma. The facts that were inscribed and represented on maps were technical and agronomic facts (the traces left on the ground by a particular kind of temporary cultivation). But these very same facts were also the object of verbal transcription, and many documentary traces were kept of them, essentially because these were also social, ritual, and juridical facts. In maps, figurative realism and geometric representation were not necessarily antithetic styles: the space of perspective, which can be used to represent an infinite number of things, was filled with visual objects (icons of social and legal facts).

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