261-264 of 264 Results  for:

Clear all

Article

Michael Podro

(b Winterthur, June 24, 1864; d Zurich, July 19, 1945).

Swiss art historian . Starting as a student of philosophy he turned to art history under the influence of Jakob Burckhardt’s teaching at Basle. However, unlike Burckhardt, he was concerned not with detailed historical inquiry but with discovering general principles for interpreting the visual character of works. What he saw as requiring interpretation was, first, how the subject-matter of painting and sculpture took its particular forms in works of art and how building materials and structures took on meaningful forms in architecture, and, second, the way such modes or formulation changed through history. He wrote almost exclusively on Renaissance and Baroque art.

Wölfflin’s doctoral dissertation (1886) was on the psychological basis of our response to architectural forms. It sets out to account for the way in which what he conceives as literally present, the material of the building, can take on human significance or expressive force, employing a theory of empathy. He expanded on this approach in ...

Article

Tirza Latimer and Harriet Riches

Since the medium’s inception, women have been attracted to photography’s ability to narrate the past and to construct the future, as well as its relative freedom from the historical conventions of the fine arts. In Europe and North America, and later in parts of Central and South America and Asia, the evolution of the new technology across the 19th century coincided with feminist challenges to prevailing gender relations. From the 1850s women of the upper and middle classes experimented with photography as a tool of documentation and a space of self-expression, while photographic studios employed working-class women to assist in a variety of tasks. As innovations such as the dry-plate process (1870s) and the Kodak camera (...

Article

Peter Kidson, Michael T. Davis, Paul Crossley, Dany Sandron, Kathryn Morrison, Andreas Bräm, Pamela Z. Blum, V. Sekules, Phillip Lindley, Ulrich Henze, Joan A. Holladay, G. Kreytenberg, Guido Tigler, R. Grandi, Anna Maria D’Achille, Francesco Aceto, J. Steyaert, Pedro Dias, Jan Svanberg, Angela Franco Mata, Peta Evelyn, Peter Tångeberg, Carola Hicks, Marian Campbell, Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, A. M. Koldeweij, G. Reinheckel, Judit Kolba, Lennart Karlsson, Barbara Drake Boehm, Danielle Gaborit-Chopin, Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Yvette Vanden Bemden, Nigel J. Morgan, Daniel Kletke, Erhard Drachenberg, and Scot McKendrick

In 

Article

Rhys W. Williams

(b Aachen, Jan 13, 1881; d Munich, March 29, 1965).

German art historian. He studied art history at Freiburg, Berlin, and Munich, before submitting his doctoral dissertation in Berne in 1907. This thesis, entitled Abstraktion und Einfühlung: Ein Beitrag zur Stilpsychologie, was first published in Neuwied in 1907 as a dissertation. Somewhat unusually, it was recommended to, and reviewed favourably by, the writer Paul Ernst, whose article in Kunst and Künstler swiftly prompted a publication in book form the following year. It is a peculiar feature of Worringer’s reception that his first publication not only established his reputation as a significant art historian, but has seldom been out of print since 1908. That a doctoral thesis should have had such a profound impact, not only for art historians and theorists, but also for generations of creative writers and intellectuals, is almost unprecedented.

Abstraktion und Einfühlung takes as its starting-point Theodor Lipps’s theory of empathy, the notion that the work of art maximizes our capacity for empathy, that beauty derives from our sense of being able to identify with an object. While conceding that a mimetic urge exists in man, drawing on the ideas of Alois Riegl, Worringer denies any necessary connection between mimesis and art: if Egyptian art was highly stylized, he argued, this was not because its artists were incompetent and failed to reproduce external reality accurately, but because Egyptian art answered a radically different psychological need. In mimetic works, he argued, we derive satisfaction from an ‘objectified delight in the self’; the aim of the artist is to maximize our capacity for empathizing with the work. This kind of art springs from a confidence in the world as it is, a satisfaction in its forms, something embodied in Classical and Renaissance art. By contrast, the urge to abstraction, exemplified variously by Egyptian, Byzantine, Gothic, or primitive art, articulates a wholly different response to the universe: it expresses man’s insecurity and seeks to answer transcendental or spiritual needs. Thus in certain historical periods man is confidently assertive and finds satisfaction in ‘objectified delight in the self’, abandoning himself in contemplation of the external world, but in periods of anxiety and uncertainty he seeks to abstract objects from their contingency, transforming them into permanent, absolute, transcendental forms....