In our class yesterday Jeff was talking about different definitions of style. I thought it would be useful for my paper to go through our book, Barnard’s Approaches to Understanding Visual Culture, to gather different definitions.

Meyer Schapiro defines style as

“constant form – sometimes the constant element, qualities, and expression in art of an individual or group” (Barnard, p. 173)

Barnard himself uses Schapiro’s definition to inform his own definition of style as

“the consistency in the way an individual or group treats the formal elements of art or visual culture” (Barnard, p. 173)

Hebdige, in the chapter on Formalism and Structuralism defines style as

“intentional communication, as homology and a signifying practice” (Barnard, p. 187)

In the chapter on Marxism Hadjinicolaou says that style

“stems from the society which produces it.” He goes on to say that style is “both form and content” and that it “belongs to a class or section of a class” (Barnard, p. 122-123)

Hadjinicolaou then agrees with Antal’s definition of style as

“a specific combination of the elements of subject and form” (Barnard, p. 123)

I think it’s clear that these notions and definitions of style all vary in some way, which makes style a bit hard to clearly define. Are there other definitions of style that might inform my paper?

Further on, Barnard talks about Hadjinicolauo’s definition of visual ideology which I find interesting. Hadjinicolauo defines visual ideology as

“a specific combination of the formal and thematic elements of a practice through which people express the way they relate their lives to the conditions of their existence.” (Barnard, p. 123)