Erwin Panofsky

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Panofsky, Erwin


Born Mar. 30, 1892, in Hanover; died Mar. 14, 1968, in Princeton, N.J. German-American art historian. Professor in Hamburg from 1926 to 1933 and at Princeton beginning in 1935.

Panofsky—influenced by the Vienna school of art studies (M. Dvořák, A. Riegl), as well as by the teachings of E. Cassirer on “symbolic forms”—together with A. Warburg and F. Saxl provided the foundation for the iconological approach to the study of works of art. Striving to overcome the one-sidedness of both the stylistic and the purely iconographic approaches, he proposed that a work of art be considered as a characteristic manifestation—a sign or “symptom”—of a cultural-historical situation, which is reflected not only in the choice of the subject but also in the artistic style. In his research, which was devoted mainly to medieval and Renaissance art, Panofsky analyzed peculiarities of form within the context of a philological and historical-philosophical interpretation of the content.


Studies in Iconology. Oxford, 1939. New edition, New York [1962].
Meaning in the Visual Arts. Garden City, 1957.
Aufsätze zu Grundfragen der Kunstwissenschaft. Berlin, 1964.


Libman, M. Ia. “Ikonologiia.” In the collection Sovremennoe iskusstvoznanie za rubezhom: Ocherki. Moscow, 1964. Pages 62–76.
Bialostocki, J. “Erwin Panofsky (1892–1968), myśliciel, historyk, człowiek.” In E. Panofsky, Studia z historii sztuki. Warsaw, 1971.
References in periodicals archive ?
The magisterial scholar of iconography, Erwin Panofsky, noted that "Individual motifs, especially the Magdalene, were never forgotten and the impression made by the other figures could be eclipsed only by later inventions of Rogier himself.
There also happens to be a less-than-strict variant of iconology which became extremely influential in this country due to the vast erudition, personal charm, and energy of Erwin Panofsky.
In a tendentious chapter defining what an intellectual field is or should be, Ringer relies heavily on Pierre Bourdieu and Erwin Panofsky.
Erwin Panofsky said in 1920 of Rembrandt's Portrait of a young Jew (Kimbell Art Museum), 'Here we see expressed the timeless and unfathomable depth of a soul which, beyond the borders of the individual consciousness, has been subsumed into a consciousness of all'.
1964, in which the artist lip-synched to a projection of Erwin Panofsky delivering his lectures on Studies in Iconology; Bernar Venet's invitations (1967-71) to experts to present lectures in a range of subjects to accompany his own painted scientific diagrams; and Joseph Beuys's famously engaging lecture-actions.
Long ago Erwin Panofsky wrote about the relationship between art and science in the Renaissance, proposing a causal relationship between the rise of modern science and pictorial illusionism, which Renaissance artists achieved through linear perspective.
The dominant account has been that of Erwin Panofsky, who published his first treatment of the picture as long ago as 1934.
Blume revises the approach established in the foundational studies of Aby Warburg, Fritz Saxl, and Erwin Panofsky.
The chief curator of painting and sculpture announced in October that he would be leaving his post in January to join the faculty of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study, the super-prestigious think tank that has hosted the likes of Albert Einstein and Erwin Panofsky.
After viewing the "EDWARD HOPPER and the American imagination" at the Whitney, I'm less convinced than ever that he rises above what Erwin Panofsky once called a "major minor master.
In De Artibus Opuscula XL: Essays in Honor of Erwin Panofsky, ed.
According to editor Irving Lavin, "This volume brings together all but one of the papers devoted to the subject of style written by Erwin Panofsky in English after he moved to America," in 1934.