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Antal, Frederick [Frigyes]locked

(b Budapest, Dec 21, 1887;d London, April 4, 1954).
  • Deborah J. Haynes

Extract

[Frigyes]

(b Budapest, Dec 21, 1887;d London, April 4, 1954).

Hungarian art historian. He studied art history in Vienna with Max Dvořák and wrote a thesis on French Neo-classical and early Romantic painting. After residing for brief periods in Budapest, Florence, Vienna and Berlin, he settled in London in 1933. He never held a regular teaching position but lectured occasionally at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He wrote on Florentine painting in relation to its social setting, on the origins and evolution of Mannerism and on the interaction of Romanticism and Classicism from the French Revolution to the death of Gericault. His interpretative stance, as set forth in ‘Remarks on the Method of Art History’ (1949), was Marxist. Style, for Antal, was not restricted to formal features but included subject-matter and the social, political and economic context of the artist and work of art. His outlook enabled him to give such artists as Hogarth and Fuseli, who had previously been considered of only limited interest, a context in art history. For instance, he demonstrated how Hogarth’s thematically and formally innovative art revealed the views and tastes of a broad cross-section of English society. He followed Aby Warburg in his rejection of a view that valued ‘art for art’s sake’....

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