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A new article on Riegl in ‘History of Photography’ journal

17 December 2017
Seeing Through a Roman Lens: Formalism, Photography, and the Lost Visual Rhetoric of Riegl’s Late Roman Art Industry 
Jesse Lockard
Alois Riegl’s  Late Roman Art Industry  has been one of the most influential books in the historiography of art and archaeology since its publication in Vienna in1901. Riegl’s treatise fundamentally altered the way Late Antique art was perceived and evaluated by historicising vision and theorising the relativity of aesthetic ideals. This article claims that Riegl’s argument was originally made in images as well as in text, but that his visual rhetoric was lost when Otto Pächt edited  Late Roman Art Industry  for republication in 1927 and changed its illustrations. The article demonstrates that Pächt’s pictorial amendments manifest the concerns of a new generation of formalist art historians raising broader questions regarding the role of photography in art history’s disciplinary codification. Restoring Riegl’s visual argument, the article contends that Riegl used photography to visualise his innovative methodology and model a historically specific gaze.
Alois Riegl (1858–1905), Hans Sedlmayr (1896–1984), Otto Pächt (1902– 88), Vienna School of Art History,  Late Roman Art Industry (Die Spätrömische Kunst-Industrie),
 Problems of Style (Stilfragen. Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik)
photography, visual rhetoric, visual analysis, formalism, ekphrasis, spatial  perception, 
book history, Kunstwollen, Kunstwissenschaft
To cite this article: Jesse Lockard (2016) Seeing Through a Roman Lens: Formalism,
Photography, and the Lost Visual Rhetoric of Riegl’s Late Roman Art Industry, History of
Photography, 40:3, 301-329, DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2016.1210322
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