The atmosphere of the image: An aesthetic concept for visual analysis

Brigitte Biehl-Missal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (SciVal)


This paper introduces the concept of "atmosphere" as relevant for visual analysis. This concept was developed in aesthetic theory and has been used previously in studies of aesthetic artefacts and architecture. When a visual encounter is viewed as an aesthetic situation, the concept helps to explain how the impact of images derives from their aesthetic, emotional and corporeal effects, from the mood and cognitive responses they create. In this paper, a case study from the trading floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is presented to illustrate how the atmosphere of imagery exerts an aesthetic influence on people. Emphasizing the subtle power of atmospheres, the paper outlines implications for broader issues of consumption and culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-367
Number of pages12
JournalConsumption Markets and Culture
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2013


  • aesthetics
  • artefacts
  • atmosphere
  • finance
  • semiotics
  • visual analysis


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