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The analysis of a work of art differs from legal analysis to the sole extent that the former necessarily includes a visual component. Each requires an understanding of the subject’s history (stylistic predecessors/legal precedent) and formative intent (artistic/legislative) in order to interpret the work or law effectively. Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis’s monumental and profusely illustrated coffee-table textbook, Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms, constitutes an outstanding synthesis of the two. And if knowledge is power, then I am very powerful for having read this remarkable work of comprehensive and finely-tuned art history.
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