art history

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art history,

the study of works of art and architecture. In the mid-19th cent., art history was raised to the status of an academic discipline by the Swiss Jacob BurckhardtBurckhardt, Jacob or Jakob Christoph
, 1818–97, Swiss historian, one of the founders of the cultural interpretation of history. He studied under Ranke at the Univ.
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, who related art to its cultural environment, and the German idealists Alois Riegl, Heinrich WölfflinWölfflin, Heinrich
, 1864–1945, Swiss art historian. Wölfflin's formal stylistic analysis of motifs and composition in art combined cultural history and psychological insight into the creative process to form a complete aesthetic system.
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, and Wilhelm Worringer. The latter three saw art history as the analysis of forms and viewed art apart from any function it serves in expressing the spirit of its age. Major 20th-century art historians include Henri Focillon, Bernard BerensonBerenson, Bernard
, 1865–1959, American art critic and connoisseur of Italian art, b. Lithuania, grad. Harvard, 1887. An expert and an arbiter of taste, he selected for art collectors innumerable paintings, many of which are now in museums.
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, Aby Warburg, Émile MâleMâle, Émile
, 1862–1954, French art historian. Mâle pioneered the study of French art of the Middle Ages, its forms, and especially the Eastern sources of sculptural iconography of the cathedrals of France.
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, Erwin PanofskyPanofsky, Erwin
, 1892–1968, American art historian, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Freiburg, 1914. After teaching (1921–33) at the Univ. of Hamburg and serving as professor of fine arts at New York Univ.
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, and Ernst Gombrich; the succeeding generation has included Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss, Donald Kuspit, and Giselda Pollack. Modern art history is a broad field of inquiry embracing formal questions of stylistic development as well as considerations of social and cultural context. Since the 1970s, a heightened awareness of gender, ethnicity, and environmental issues has marked the work of many art historians.

Bibliography

See A. Hauser, The Social History of Art (4 vol., 1958–60); M. Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (1982); H. W. Janson, History of Art (4th rev. ed. 1991).

References in periodicals archive ?
Berenson remained deeply ambivalent about his Jewish inheritance and, after studying Hebrew and Sanskrit at Harvard, and writing his undergraduate dissertation on the subject of 'Talmudo-Rabbinical Eschatology', he converted to Christianity, first as a Protestant in Boston and later as a Catholic in Italy, and was very hostile to the German Jewish art historians who established iconography as a core disipline.
As a measure of the cultural sophistication of a city, the collection of art books in early public lending libraries and of the stock traded in book stores tells book historians and bibliographers as well as social and art historians much about the economic, educational, and class contexts in which artists aspired, studied, and sought private and public patronage.
According to art historian Michael Fried, however, the work is really about male castration.
Mitchell's thought experiment--conceiving of images as "vital signs" rather than signs or symbols--reveals aspects of picture making that otherwise escape the notice of art historians, for whom pictures are structures of meaning rather than forms of life.
My preoccupation is with the central panel, in the patois of the art historian, "Grunewald's Crucifixion.
How can art historians record and present information that they learn about artists?
If you are a Wyeth fan, this catalog explores terrain previously ignored by art historians and curators, providing a new perspective on his community, his personal life and his work.
Three years after applying for help, art historians and activists said they have finally secured a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Certainly in the 1970s, when this book was written, relations between historians and art historians were almost nonexistent.
The programs bring together artists, musicians, dancers, conservationists, art historians, educators, and interested people of all ages to celebrate the river and its future revitalization.
The book will be enjoyable for art historians with some link to Henry or Ireland, and to popular readers looking for a historical travel journal of the Irish isles.
In fact, an algorithm has been developed that demonstrates computers are able to "understand" art in a fashion very similar to how art historians perform their analysis, mimicking the perception of expert art critiques.