Thursday, July 26, 2012

Without being immodest, this work constitute my legacy after forty years of art-history teaching.  The texts were written at various times.  I have done my best to bring them up to date.



1. Introduction. Sequentiality in the history of art; art historians as bearers and shapers of art history; patterns of historiography; scope of art historiography; the kingdoms of art history; earlier approaches to the historiography of art; summary and prospect.


2. Greece and Rome. Magical roots of the art concept; emergence of the idea of personality; the Platonic reaction; Xenocrates; Pliny's synthesis; Vitruvius and architectural history; Pausanias; ecphrastic traditions of later antiquity; conclusion.

3. East Asia. Relation of art and writing; pre-Han crafts and rituals; Buddhism; Chinese concepts of historical development; emergence of the scholar-connoisseur type; Hsieh-ho's Six Principles; ranking of artists; the Northern and Southern schools; mainstream and eccentric traditions; Japan.

4. Europe in the Middle Ages. Byzantine continuation of ecphraseis; development of vocabulary; art works and dynastic achievement; monastic traditions and patrons; reemergence of the idea of the individual; sacred history as a theory of progress.

5. The Renaissance Tradition. Emergence of the modern idea of the Renaissance; Ghiberti's renovation of the Plinian concept; the Vasarian paradigm; its spread, first through Italy and then to other European countries (Bellori; Van Mander; Sandrart; Palomino; Walpole); academies; collecting and museums; conclusion.

6. Winckelmann: Predecessors, Accomplishment, Influence. The key dea that the focus of the discipline is art, not artists; other leading concepts; disparagement of the Baroque and fostering of emergent neo-Classicism; Winckelmann's successors; early stages of classical archaeology.


7. Romanticism and Reorientation. The emergence of aesthetic relativism; changes in the condition of artists; duality of contemporary styles and their analysis by contemporaries; the sublime; the attractions of the exotic.

8. Historicism and the Art Historian. The two historicisms (Hegel vs. Ranke); the particularist trend in art history: Rumohr, Passavant, Waagen; the Hegelian trend: Schnaase and Kugler; reasons for German primacy; Burckhardt.

9. Medievalism. The Gothic revival; the taste for the primitives; archaeology and Viollet-le-Duc; the emergence of iconography as a discipline; opening of new vistas.

10. Egypt and Egyptology. Pre-Champollion speculations; Napoleon's expedition and the Egyptian revival; the founding of Egyptology; affinities: Mesopotamia and prehistory.

11. Rehabilitations: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century. The problem of occultation and revival; Baroque, Rococo, and Mannerism; Vermeer, El Greco, Botticelli, and Bosch; feminist rehabilitations; partial and failed rehabilitations.

12. Wölfflin and the Viennese. Visuality and dualism in Wölfflin; special character of Vienna: Riegl, Wickhoff, Schlosser; Strzygowski; the "New Vienna School."
13. Connoisseurship, "Micro Art History," and Formal Analysis. Connoisseurship: forerunners; Giovanni Morelli; the Morellian legacy; Bernard Berenson; aftermath.

14. Meaning. Hamburg and Aby Warburg; the heritage of iconography; Erwin Panofsky; criticisms of Panofsky.  Appendix: art history in the United States and the Transatlantic migration; Ernst Hans Gombrich.


15. Modern Art and Its History. Ambivalent attitudes toward the historiography of modern art; premises of the positive evaluation of modernism; rise of a system of perioidization: the "isms"; the modernist historiographer emerges; cubism and its historiography; the role of museum personnel; Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; coeval trends; Clement Greenberg; Russian modernism repressed and revived; modern art and the spiritual; ascent of the reputation of Marcel Duchamp; the historiography of modern architecture; modernism delimited?; conclusion.

16. Social and Political Themes. Foundations of the socioeconomic approach; Marxism and its affinities; social discontinuities; the imagery of state power; culture wars; conclusion.

17. World Perspectives. European lenses for viewing exotic societies; the morphology of culture and multiculturalism; the "Orientalism" question.

18. China, Japan, India, Islamic Lands. China: Origins of Western sinophilia; Chinese exports and Chinoiserie; Western scholarship. Japan: The opening of Japan and japonisme in the West; attempts at an overall interpretation; scholarship. India: Early contacts and misinterpretations; aesthetic reassessment. Islamic Lands: Artistic contacts and perceptions; the turn towards scholarship; Islamic art research today. Conclusion.

19. Pre-Columbian and Ethnic Arts. The primitive conundrum. Pre-Columbian art: Pioneers; Mesoamerican study matures; Andean research; North America. Ethnic Cultures and Their Arts: Early approaches to ethnic arts; intervention of artists and critics; complexity and controversy; conclusion.

20. New Departures. Deconstruction: method or mode?; Michel Foucault; the depth psychological approach to the creativity of artists; feminist art history; gay and lesbian scholarship; semiotics, structuralism and beyond; truce?; conclusion.

21. Epilogue. Successive models of art history; history of art historiography; new perspectives on the art historian; return to the problem of change; the sociology of knowledge; rhetorical analysis and historical semantics; individual words in context (historical semantics); other problems of language, past and present; concluding observations: technology and tomorrow.

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