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Giuseppe Barbieri on Gombrich in an Italian context

28 November 2019

Immagini e parole, a new Italian collection of essays by E.H. Gombrich, brings a significant contribution to a seventy-year long debate in Italy and abroad

 Review of:

 Immagini e parole by Ernst H. Gombrich, edited by Lucio Biasiori, Roma: Carocci Editore, collana “Saggi”, 2019, 224 p., 73 b. & w. illus., 20.40 €, ISBN 9788843086115

Giuseppe Barbieri (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) 21/GB1

Abstract: This Italian edition of a collection of essays (hitherto unpublished in Italian) by E.H. Gombrich allows us to rethink the connection between words and pictures from a sensibly different perspective from the discussions of the early 2000s. The focus is neither on the insurmountable conflict between the now prevailing visual code and the verbal one, nor on the pictorial and iconic turns: Gombrich invites us to re-examine this relationship starting from history and art history. In Italy, this perspective has remained marginal until the emergence of “micro-history” in art, accompanied by a series of exhibitions that focused no longer on the artist but rather on the context. A perspective that deserves to be rediscovered…

Key words: E.H. Gombrich, interdisciplinarity, focus on context, words and pictures, visual syntax

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