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Andreas Vater

E-Mail: vater[at] schriftbildlichkeit.de


Dissertation Project

"Ikonographie reziprok. Die Entzifferung des Rebusbildes im barocken Bilderrätsel“


Project Description

The rebus is a kind of picture puzzle in which pictorial and textual elements are juxtaposed in such a manner that single text passages are replaced by pictures.

While this special variant of the picture puzzle is seen only very rarely today, numerous examples of its use can be found in the 17th century, limited neither to a certain speech area nor to a specific type area. The rebus appears in this period in coats of arms of Dutch and Flemish poet-guilds, as independent drawings, in broadsheets and extensive illustrated Bibles, and also as integrative components of homage writings or as illustrations within mnemonic compendiums.

This dissertation project will examine, on the basis of a selection of graphics, to what extent the substitution of text components by rebus pictures changes within rebuses of the 17th century and to what extent it is not the word to be solved – its phonetics, ambiguity etc. – that is relevant for these changes, but the intrinsic value of the pictorial component itself or the specific text intention of the respective work.



Curriculum Vitae

Since October 2011

PhD Scholarship within the DFG Research Training Group 1458 „Schriftbildlichkeit“ at the Freie Universität Berlin

September 2010 – August 2011

Scholarship at the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris on the annual subject “Parler de l’image. Parler par l’image.” (directed by Georges Didi-Huberman & Johannes Grave)

April 2010

Start of the dissertation project titled „Ikonographie reziprok. Die Entzifferung des Rebusbildes im barocken Bilderrätsel“ at the University of Vienna


Studies in art history and classical archeology in Vienna, Basel and Rome, finished in March 2010 with a thesis about a group of broadsheets from the Thirty Years’ War (Supervisor: Werner Telesko)





“Mit Worten malen. Mit Bildern schreiben: Figurengedichte, Permutationen, Bilderrätsel, Bilderschriften”, Universitätsbibliothek Wien, Vienna, 3rd June 2009 – 31th July 2009 (together with Elisabeth Klecker)





“Le jeu entre image et langage”. Colloque organisé par le Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art et l’Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, 6th – 7th May 2011


“Mit Worten malen. Mit Bildern schreiben”. Exhibition-workshop, Universitätsbibliothek Wien/Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, 3rd – 5th June 2009





“Sprache der Bilder - Bilder der Sprache”. International PhD-colloquium in the framework of the Villa-Vigoni Gespräche, Villa Vigoni, Loveno di Menaggio, 25th – 29th September 2011 (directed by Dieter Burdorf, Johannes Grave, Thorsten Valk, Reinhard Wegner)


“Sprechen über Bilder - Sprechen in Bildern”. Workshop of the Kolleg-Forschergruppe Bildakt und Verkörperung and the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 8th – 9th April 2011





Emanuele Tesauro, Il Cannocchiale Aristotelico, Turin 1670, ed., translated and commented by Andreas Josef Vater et al. (in preparation)






Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft