27: Dec22


Studies on the Cicognara Library, Part 2 of a series – Guest edited by Jeanne-Marie Musto

(New York Public Library)

Jeanne-Marie Musto, ‘Introduction’ 27/JM1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004159)

Abstract: The following paper by Silvia Massa was first presented at a session sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America that I chaired on 10 February 2021 at the 109th College Art Association Annual Conference. Entitled ‘The Print in the Codex’, the session considered books transformed through the incorporation of independently printed images. This is the second of two papers from the session to appear in this journal; Sarah Schaefer’s study of the impact of extra-illustration on printing history, ‘Bibles Unbound: The Material Semantics of Nineteenth-Century Scriptural Illustration’, appeared in the June 2022 issue.

Key words: print albums, single-sheet prints, print rooms, history of collecting, curatorship, history of books, Bibliographical Society of America, College Art Association

Elena Granuzzo (Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice), ‘Leopoldo Cicognara and his library: Formation and significance of a collection (I)’ 27/EG1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004160)

Abstract: The influential art library of Count Leopoldo Cicognara (1767-1834) testifies to his scholarship and bibliophilic passions; it testifies equally to his devotion to providing others, artists and scholars alike, with tools for their work. He valued provenance from contemporary collections, such as that of Giuseppe Bossi (1777-1815), or historic collections, such as that of Jacques-Auguste de Thou (1553-1617). Key, however, were personal connections with artists, scholars, librarians, and book dealers, who helped shape Cicognara’s library through donations, advice, and their own connections. To document the construction of Cicognara’s library this study analyses his annotated catalogue and draws on correspondence with friends and colleagues, including Gaetano Pinali (1759-1846), Giovanni de Lazara (1744-1833), Francesco Girolamo Cancellieri (1751-1826), and Giovan Battista Vermiglioli (1769-1848). This documentation deepens our understanding both of Cicognara’s conception of his library and of how it represents the cultural world of northern Italy during the Napoleonic era and its aftermath.

Key words: Leopoldo Cicognara, history of libraries, art libraries, history of collecting, Cisalpine Republic, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, rare book trade

Barbara Steindl (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut), ‘Cicognara’s views on fifteenth-century sculpture in light of his art library’ 27/BS1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004161)

Abstract: Leopoldo Cicognara’s (1767-1834) Storia della scultura (Venice, 1813-18; second edition, Prato, 1823-24) is a stylistic history of Italian sculpture from the 14th century to his own time, culminating with Antonio Canova. In writing and then revising his survey, Cicognara relied on the art literature that he collected in his own rich library, as well as on direct knowledge of the works – both essential elements for stylistic classification.

Cicognara divided his history into five epochs. This paper focuses on the second epoch (incremento/progresso), i.e., on sculpture of the 15th century, in order to demonstrate how Cicognara’s specific working method not only enabled him to correct incorrect dating but also to create the first consistent inventory of Italian sculpture. In the process, he established a canon of works which remains valid today. In the chapter on Venetian sculpture, moreover, it becomes clear how much his interest in art history was an expression of his civic, political and cultural commitment.

Keywords: Leopoldo Cicognara, Storia della scultura, art library, methodology, chronology, inventory, art conservation

The Print in the Codex, Part 2 of a series – Guest edited by Jeanne-Marie Musto

Jeanne-Marie Musto, ‘Introduction’ 27/JM2 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004162)

Abstract: The following paper by Silvia Massa was first presented at a session sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America that I chaired on 10 February 2021 at the 109th College Art Association Annual Conference. Entitled ‘The Print in the Codex’, the session considered books transformed through the incorporation of independently printed images. This is the second of two papers from the session to appear in this journal; Sarah Schaefer’s study of the impact of extra-illustration on printing history, ‘Bibles Unbound: The Material Semantics of Nineteenth-Century Scriptural Illustration’, appeared in the June 2022 issue.

Key words: print albums, single-sheet prints, print rooms, history of collecting, curatorship, history of books, Bibliographical Society of America, College Art Association

Silvia Massa (Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), ‘From the reliure mobile to the Schraubband. Collecting and storing prints in adjustable albums at the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin’ 27/SM1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004163)

Abstract: A large section of the print holdings of the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin is housed in bulky albums known as Schraubbände (‘screw volumes’). From the outside, these albums are similar to print albums that abounded in private collections before the nineteenth century. But their leaves are not sewn together as in a traditional codex structure; rather, they are screwed together between metal rods. The rods can be unscrewed for easy insertion and removal of the mounted prints, while keeping them in the given order. By investigating material and historical aspects of the Berlin Schraubbände, this paper identifies their forerunners in the reliure mobile-albums in use at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, proposes a rationale behind their use at the Kupferstichkabinett in the late nineteenth century, and challenges the traditional discrimination between bound and unbound print collections.

Key words: print albums, print collecting, Schraubbände, reliure mobile, Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Friedrich Lippmann, Achille Devéria

Supplement: Digital Humanities for art history 2022 – Guest edited by Andrew Hopkins (Università degli studi dell’Aquila) suppl.

General papers

Øystein Holdø (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), ‘The Argan-Brinckmann polemic (1932–33) and the reception of Piedmontese Baroque architecture’ 27/OH1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004165)

Abstract: The short but intense polemic that took place following Giulio Carlo Argan’s review of Albert Erich Brinckmann’s Theatrum novum Pedemontii in 1931 inaugurated international twentieth century scholarly reception of Piedmontese Baroque architecture. Today, it provides a captivating snapshot of the turbulent and complex disciplinary feuds that prevailed in architectural historiography during the interwar period, often pushing contenders into deep water when attempting to clarify their views. The twenty-three-year-old Argan – later to become one of Italy’s most celebrated academics – had just graduated from the University of Turin when he gave a bravely disapproving review of the latest book by one of Germany’s most prominent architectural historians at the time.

Keywords: Giulio Carlo Argan, Albert Erich Brinckmann, Hans Sedlmayr, architectural historiography, positivism, idealism, determinism, Piedmontese Baroque, Guarino Guarini, Filippo Juvarra, Bernardo Vittone

Krista Kodres (Academy of Arts in Tallinn), ‘Revisioning Stalinist discourse of art: Mikhail Liebman’s academic networks and his social art history’ 27/KK1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004166)

Abstract: The article addresses the art historian and leading Renaissance scholar Mikhail Liebman’s 1960s and 1970s texts, which present his understandings of the discourse and methodology of art history. It was a time when the Soviet art history avant-garde, called ‘revisionists’, encouraged by Khrushchev’s de-Stalinisation policy, began critically reappraising art and art history’s Marxist-Leninist/Stalinist approach. The article seeks to determine why and how Liebman’s art history discourse changed in this new political situation. What was ‘Marxist’ in it and how did he arrive at the ‘social history of art’? I argue that it was the official socialist system of internationalisation which allowed Liebman to attend international forums in his discipline, and hence to be in dialogue with the contemporary Western art historical discourse(s). I also ask how, given the paucity of sources and the ideologically ambivalent conditions in which art historical texts in Soviet Union were created, one can find the right code for reading socialist art histories?

Key words: Socialist art history, Soviet Thaw-era revisionism, internationalisation, social history of art, iconology, Vienna school of art history

Kamini Vellodi (Edinburgh College of Art), ‘On the question of a philosophical art history: philosophy, theory and thought’ 27/KV1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004167)

Abstract: Decades since the radicalising impacts of ‘theory’ have been levelled into disciplinary practice, what might be invited by a philosophical art history today? I outline the shape of this problem by retracing the presence of the philosophical in early art history, contextualising the emergence of theory in 20th-century continental philosophy’s self-examination, and surveying the impact and afterlife of the assimilation of French thought, as ‘theory’, into the Anglo-American academy. Faced by an ever-expanding ‘menu of methods’ and interpretive toolkits, the challenge for a philosophical art history today is to interrogate and reverse the conversion of what the French called thought (pensée) into what became theory. By considering the philosophy of thought developed by Gilles Deleuze, and his ideas of ‘superior empiricism’ and ‘constructivism’, I explore one route to such interrogation. I argue that a philosophical art history as a thoughtful art history moves away from preoccupations of methodology to a practice of problematology.

Key words: theory, philosophy, art history, Deleuze, methodology, nonphilosophy, method, problem

The young Hans Sedlmayr

Karl Johns (Independent), ‘The young Hans Sedlmayr’: Introduction to Sedlmayr translations 27/KJ3 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004168)

Abstract: Since so much emotion has accrued around the figure of Hans Sedlmayr due to his collaboration during the Nazi period in Austria, it has been felt that, however controversial, it might be enlightening to direct attention to less well-known aspects of the earlier part of his prolific, multifaceted and influential career.

Key words: Nazism, Schapiro, Kritische Berichte, rigorous method, Riegl, structural analysis, Imbriani

 J v Schlosser, ‘Report on the Habilitation of Dr. Hans Sedlmayr’, trans. Karl Johns (Independent) 27/KJ4 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004169)

Abstract: A translation of Julius Schlosser’s assessment of Hans Sedlmayr’s application for Habilitation.

Key words: Vienna School, Baroque, Gestalt Theory, Fischer von Erlach, Borromini, Kunstwissenschaft, macchia

Hans Sedlmayr, ‘History and the History of Art’, trans. Karl Johns (Independent) 27/KJ (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004170)

Abstract: In the same year of 1934 as Julius von Schlosser celebrated the eightieth anniversary of the Österreichisches Institut für Geschichtsforschung with his essay ‘Die Wiener Schule der Kunstgeschichte’, Eberhard Hempel in his essay, ‘Ist ‘eine strenge Kunstwissenschaft’ möglich?’ claimed that the younger generation of the Vienna School had relaxed the connection to historical studies and that a volte-face had occurred. Since Hempel has named me as one of the leaders of the ‘younger generation of the Vienna School’, I am justified in refuting his claim. To avoid giving rise to any new misunderstandings, I speak only for myself as an individual and in the indefinite plural only for those who agree with my views. Hempel, who treats his opponents honourably, believes that in his sentences just cited, he was referring only to my opinion alone. Yet this is certainly not the case. All of my previous essays have in a very definite sense – as I intend to make clear here – originated in the desire to make the history of art more ‘historical’ than it now is. I consider myself from the very beginning to have been aligned with the traditional general historical trend of the entire Vienna School. There has definitely not been a ‘volte-face’. The goals are the same, only the paths and the means are some of them different. As I shall presently demonstrate, the method of ‘structural analysis’, which Hempel correctly identifies as characteristic for our conception of the problems but incorrectly viewing it as ‘psychological’ – is a truly art historical method. Guido von Kaschnitz-Weinberg was correct to identify Alois Riegl as the actual pioneer of structural analysis. This is not merely the view of those who have themselves been trained in the tradition of the ‘Vienna School’, but it has also been recognized by others more distant.

Key words: Eberhard Hempel, Vienna School, structural analysis, historical auxiliary sciences, Österreichisches Institut für Geschichtsforschung, style, Observant and Reconstructive Analysis

Hans Sedlmayr, ‘Obituary: Julius Ritter von Schlosser 23 IX 1866 – 1 XII 1938’, trans. Karl Johns (Independent) 27/KJ6 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004171)

Abstract: The greatest respect one could show would certainly be a renewed and serious consideration of Schlosser’s work – and yet we have another duty which strikes me as more important still, and this is to recognize its significance for the history of art beyond the mere accrual of knowledge. For us art historians, this question is inextricably bound to the other as to whether we have done justice to his work, and as paradoxical as it might sound about such a figure who was given the highest possible honors during his life, I would have to answer in the negative. … I would most like to show that the large and impressive work of Julius von Schlosser is today in no way finished, and that the day it was published is fading behind us, but indeed that Schlosser still has a very living contribution to make to the history of art of our own time, and that it is far from fading. This is very clear as we consider his work in relation to his own time.

Key words: written sources, medieval attitude to art, museum organisation, coins, medals, musical instruments, small-scale sculpture, individual work of art, ‘Monday tutorials’, teaching

Letter from Otto Pächt to Meyer Schapiro concerning ‘national constants’ (1934) trans. Christoph Irmscher. Originally published in its original German with English translation by Christoph Irmscher in Karl Johns, ‘Austrian Art-Historical Method in the United States: Meyer Schapiro and Emil Kaufmann’, Ideas Crossing the Atlantic: Theories, Normative Conceptions and Cultural Images ed. Waldemar Zacharasiewicz and Christoph Irmscher, Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2019, pp. 385-412. 27/KJ2 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004172)

Abstract: While I was working on the evolution of Austrian Gothic panel painting, I realized that the whole material could be sorted into multiple genealogies, each of which corresponded to a particular (regional) mode of production, and that within these different genealogies there was always one constant factor. This constant factor wasn’t something that could be defined by identifying certain homogeneous, regularly or frequently recurring forms. It wouldn’t do either to characterize this constant factor as a specific attitude towards a particular contemporary style or as a particular mode or point of view, the term ‘constant factor’ also implies a constant reflected in the object that is being made. Of course, we are not talking about something that remains the same externally. Rather, one has to imagine a kind of shared ideal, present to the different artists in a variety of vague formulae, which more or less explicitly guides the process of creation and appears, through a constant flux of viewpoints, in ever new guises but in fact remains the same and has to appear differently (and filled with new content) only because, like any ideal conception, it is only roughly approximated in each particular act of creation, so that some unfulfilled demand always remains, which then serves as an incentive for new developments.

Key words: Otto Pächt, Meyer Schapiro, Hans Sedlmayr, national constant, nationalist theory, schools, attribution, antisemitism


Karl Johns (Independent), ‘Georg Sobotka: bibliography and three translations’ 27/KJ7 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004173)

Abstract: A brief life of Georg Sobotka, the doctoral student of Julius Schlosser afterwards employed at the Berlin museums mentioned in Karl Johns’ article on ‘The young Hans Sedlmayr’. In addition: a bibliography and translations of three reviews: Wilhelm Rolfs, Geschichte der Malerei Neapels; Giuseppe Ceci, Saggio di una bibliografia per la storia delle arti figurative nell’Italia meridionale; Henry Rousseau, La Sculpture aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles.

Key words: Georg Sobotka, bibliography, Wilhelm Rolfs, Giuseppe Ceci, Pays-Bas

Benedetto Croce, ‘A Theory of the Macchia’ trans. Ricardo De Mambro Santos (Willamette University) 27/RdMS1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004174)

Abstract: Originally written in 1905 and included in the volume Problemi di estetica (Questions on Aesthetics), first published in 1910, this short yet dense essay by Benedetto Croce explores the aesthetic and critical implications of the concept of macchia. The starting point of this philosophical investigation is offered by a little-known volume by Vittorio Imbriani, entitled La quinta promotrice (The Promoting Scene), printed in Naples in 1869, in which the author applies the notion of macchia within the emerging ambit of Art Criticism, in reference to the works of Domenico Morelli and, in particular, his Deposition of Christ, of which he provides a detailed, highly evocative and poetic ekphrasis. Defined by Imbriani as the propulsive force, the preliminary idea of every pictorial creation, the concept of macchia will be associated by Croce with one of the foundational notions of his own Aesthetics and set genealogically in relation with the paradigm of intuition as the truly distinctive quality of art in general, beyond any possible differentiation among the particular arts.

Key words: Macchia, art theory, Benedetto Croce, Vittorio Imbriani, art and philosophy, aesthetics


Andrew Hopkins (Università degli studi dell’Aquila), ‘Not enough Baroque’, Review of: Helen Hills (Hg.), Rethinking the Baroque, Farnham, Ashgate 2011. Originally published in Kunstchronik. Monatsschrift für Kunstwissenschaft, Museumswesen und Denkmalpflege: Mitteilungsblatt des Verbandes Deutscher Kunsthistoriker. ISSN: 2510-7534: 27/AH5 (https://doi.org/10.11588/kc.2013.3.81104)

Abstract: Once, when questioned about the originality of Umberto Eco’s Il nome della rosa (1980), Richard Krautheimer gave one of his rare and atypically acerbic replies: “you obviously haven’t read much Sherlock Holmes”. In many ways the volume discussed here provoked in the reviewer a similar response because, when reading through a number of the ten papers presented in these conference proceedings, he kept thinking: “but what about Argan?”. In this case Giulio Carlo Argan playing Canon Doyle, to Gilles Deleuze’s Eco, the latter’s Le Pli of 1988 to Argan’s brilliant but overlooked essay “La retorica e l’arte barocca” of 1955 which is not cited a single time in this book nor present in the bibliography. Acknowledging the importance of Argan (mentioned only in passing on p. 22) would not make Deleuze’s work appear any less innovative, but it certainly would have helped explain more persuasively the significant shifts in post-war perception and reception of the Baroque that were part of the historical preamble to the appearance of Leibniz et le baroque.

Key words: Baroque, periodisation, genealogies, decadence, style, historiography, reframing

Conference Report

Henrik Karge (Technische Universität Dresden), Sabine Frommel (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris Sciences & Lettres Univerity) and Julia Walter (Technische Universität Dresden), ‘The history of architectural history. The genesis and development of a scientific discipline between national perspectives and European models’. Report on the international Symposium of the Technische Universität Dresden at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome, in cooperation with the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris Sciences & Lettres Univerity 27/KFW1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004176)

Abstract: For the first time, the symposium on the History of Architectural History, organised by Henrik Karge (Dresden) and Sabine Frommel (Paris) at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome, analysed architectural history as a European phenomenon. The participants – renowned experts from Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Hungary and Greece – described the genesis and development of the historiography of architecture within the panorama of historical sciences, especially in relation to the history of art. Of particular importance is the role that architectural history played in the constitution of national identities in the course of nation building, and thus also national conflicts, in 19th and 20th century Europe. In various contributions, the historians of architecture were examined: art historians, architectural theorists and practical architects have each developed specific perspectives. In this way, the special feature of the Roman school of architecture was elaborated, which consisted in keeping alive the awareness of historical models in the training of architects, even under the reign of 20th century modernism and postmodernism. Finally, current aspects of digital techniques and global aspects in the analysis and visualisation of architecture were also dealt with.

Key words: architectural history, art history, nationalism, global art history, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Roman school of architecture

Response to review

C. Oliver O’Donnell (Bilderfahrzeuge Research Group, Warburg Institute, University of London), ‘Art history and empiricism: a response to Ian Verstegen’s review of Meyer Schapiro’s Critical Debates27/OD1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004177)

Abstract: In this letter to the editor, I counter Ian Verstegen’s suggestion in his recent review of my book that Meyer Schapiro’s critiques of the grand theories of the 20th century were anti-theoretical. Rather than sceptical refutations of art-historical theory in general, Schapiro’s engagements with figures like Freud and Heidegger betray his awareness that empiricism and pragmatism are themselves philosophical practices. 

Keywords: Meyer Schapiro, empiricism, pragmatism, art history, art historiography


Rafael Cardoso (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro), ‘Towards a truly global art history’. Review of: 20th Century Indian Art: Modern, Post-Independence, Contemporary by Partha Mitter, Parul Dave Mukherji, Rakhee Balaram, London: Thames and Hudson 2022, 744 pp., heavily illustrated, £85.00, ISBN-10: ‎ 0500023328, ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0500023327. 27/RC1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004178)

Abstract: The present review of 20th Century Indian Art focuses on the book’s contribution to debates around ‘global art history’ and ‘world art studies’. What methodological breakthroughs can be gained from the comparative study of regions outside Europe and the USA? Issues such as hybridity and syncretism, primitivism and folk art, nationalism and regional identities, authenticity and derivativeness, belatedness and modernization, are common to discussions of art history in various contexts traditionally regarded as peripheral or marginal. Inverting the vantage point of historical analysis, and examining them from the position of the formerly colonized, undermines established categories and generates novel insights. Such shifts in perspective tend to inflect differently, and may even alter radically, the understanding of terms like primitivism, Orientalism and even art and craft. The article underscores the importance of rethinking commonly held presumptions about dislocation, appropriation, precedence, deviation. Only when art historians can look at the discipline from a multiplicity of cultural and geographical perspectives will it be possible to establish a truly global art history.

Key words: Indian art, 20th-century art, global art history, world art studies, transculturation, decolonization

Shana Cooperstein (Anne Arundel Community College), ‘Historicizing pose: the body in the modern era’. Review of: Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen, Modern Art & the Remaking of Human Disposition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021, 352pp., $55.00 hdbk, ISBN: 9780226745046, $54.99 pdf & epub, ISBN: 9780226745183. 27/SC1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004179)

Abstract: By the end of the nineteenth century, artists across Europe revived archaic modes of posing the body. This review assesses recent scholarship by Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen on the subject of posture and its relationship to psychology in European modernism.

Key words: European art, European modernism, history of evolutionary biology, history of psychology, pose, posture, disposition, Georges Seurat, Gustav Klimt, Vaslav Nijinsky

Jae Emerling (College of Arts +Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte), ‘Relays, signals, actuality:  a return to Focillon’. Review of: Annamaria Ducci, Henri Focillon en son temps. La liberté des forms, Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2021, 391 pp., 20 col. plates, 10 b. & w. illus, 26,00 €, ISBN 979-10-344-0079-9. 27/JE1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004180)

Abstract:  A review-essay on Annamaria Ducci’s intellectual biography Henri Focillon en son temps. La liberté des forms (2021) that extends this work by presenting a call for a ‘return to Focillon’ within art historical thought that begins with his ability to refocus us on the artwork itself and its capabilities to magnetize content both within and without its historical milieu.  Focillon’s real interest in the concept of a milieu and in the artwork’s ability to escape this originary context instigates a rethinking of the ontology, historiography, and the temporality of art.  He challenges us to think and write through problematics, to experiment with both aesthetic agency and historical reception; to create new linkages between art and life, history and becoming, along the ἀκμή of the vie des formes—thus conceiving an artwork as a past-future event, as a ‘great ensemble’. Focillon posits that if the work of art is an event, then history is a modulated and controlled form of time as such, which itself is an actual-virtual movement or ‘becoming’.  Ontologically art ‘goes further than…illustrate history’, he argues, which is why art historians must learn to encounter ‘modalities of life’ in order to write about how it creates ‘worlds’.  Our ‘return to Focillon’ takes place within a threshold wherein the event of art is what matters most, that is, the capacities of a given formal property to harness and magnetize forces within and outside of itself in order to render humanist and post-humanist forces perceptible, sensible, and thinkable. 

Keywords: Henri Focillon, Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, historiography, aesthetics, formalism, art history, temporality, George Kubler, modernism, affect, agency

Birgit Hopfener (Carleton University in Ottawa), ‘Art that explores history: Reconceptualizing contemporary art’s historicity in the global framework’. Review of: Eva Kernbauer, Art, History, and Anachronic Interventions Since 1990, New York City: Routledge, 2022. 260 pp., 53 colour ills, ISBN 9780367763251, Open Access, hbk £120.00. 27/BH1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004181)

Abstract: Eva Kernbauer’s book Art, History, and Anachronic Interventions Since 1990 argues that contemporary artistic historiographies can potentially help us to reconceptualize historiography and to rethink contemporary art’s historicity. Based on thorough analyses of historical and contemporary discourses of how art has been understood as contributing to historiography and philosophies of history, her analyses of artistic historiographies are not only about uncovering previously unknown histories and archives, but about theoretical reflections on history, history writing and time. This review summarizes Kernbauer’s key arguments, discusses her theoretical approach and the insights the book offers into (artistic) historiography and global art history methodology.

Keywords: artistic historiography, anachrony, anachronic, critique of historicism, global, hetero-temporal, historiography, historiographical turn, Time and temporality

Karl Johns (Independent), ‘Schlosser redivus‘. Review of: Julius von Schlosser (1866-1938), Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte, vol, 66, 2021. 232 pp., 80 ills, Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 70,00 €, ISBN: 978-3-205-21443-4. 27/KJ1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004182)

Abstract: Julius von Schlosser (1866-1938), Commemorative volume of the Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte (vol. 60, 2021) including 13 lectures devoted to the work of Julius Schlosser. The subjects are treated concretely, without academic ‘discourse’, illustrating the generational span and antithesis of a relatively prolific career spent between the museum and university during a period important in defining the goals of the discipline.

Key words: The “Literature of Art” – Kunstliteratur, Medieval and Renaissance sculpture, museum administration, Neo-Idealism, formalism, Naturalism in art, artistic insularity, Aby Warburg, Alois Riegl, Ernst Gombrich, Otto Kurz, Benedetto Croce

Elizabeth Mansfield (Penn State), ‘Field notes: contemporary art history as historiography’. Review of: Terry Smith, Art to Come: Histories of Contemporary Art, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2019, 456 pp., 84 b. & w. illus., £92.00 hdbk, £25.99 pbk ISBN 9781478001942. 27/EM1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004183)

Abstract: Terry Smith characterizes Art to Come as a work of art historiography. The eleven chapters that comprise Art to Come–including several previously published essays by Smith–are primarily concerned with describing and analyzing art produced in the past few decades. This review takes up Smith’s invitation to understand Art to Come as historiography and argues that the book is a model for a mode of art writing that is simultaneously art historical and historiographical.  

Key words: contemporary art, connectivity, contemporaneity, empiricism, global art history, art of the 21st century, art historical methodology, art history as historiography, interpretive restraint, post-Cold War art, self-reflexivity

Branko Mitrović (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), ‘Art historians and their textual behaviour’. Review of: Sam Rose: Interpreting Art, London: UCL Press, 2022, 136 pages, 38 illustrations, ISBN: 978-1-80008-178-9. 27/BM1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004184)

Abstract: Sam Rose’s book analyses techniques that art historians and art critics use when they write about artworks. These techniques concentrate on five ‘features’ of art-theoretical analysis: authors, contexts, reception, complexity and depth. The analysis that Rose presents is based on an exceptionally extensive survey of art historical literature. At the same time, the book leaves it unclear whether these ‘features’ serve the purpose of acquiring and conveying knowledge about artworks or should we assume that they are merely constitutive of art-historical writing without contributing to art historical knowledge or its transmission.

Key words: Sam Rose, Art history writing, artists as authors, contexts of artworks, reception of artworks, complexity in art history writing, depth in art history writing

Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘Caricature, Salon criticism, laughter and modernity’. Review of: Julia Langbein, Laugh Lines: Caricaturing Painting in Nineteenth-Century France, London: Bloomsbury 2022, pp. 245, 43 col. plates and 46 b. & w. ills, ISBN 9781350186859, £ 85. 27/KMM1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004185)

Abstract: The book examines the genre of Salon caricatural, a special kind of Salon criticism which, made of rows of ‘pocket cartoons’ that poke fun on the art works on display, was a common feature of French satirical journals from the 1840s onwards. Looking closely at prints by Pelez, Daumier, Cham, and Bertall, while reading Baudelaire and other contemporary critics, the book examines its rise on the pages of Le Charivari until the end of the Salon in 1881. If French political caricature is characterised by violence and resistance against power, Salon caricature was never primarily oppositional, the book argues. Produced by caricaturists who shared training and pictorial references with Salon artists, it was aiming for laughter, generated by the very act of the translation of the medium of paint into drawing and print. Shifting reproductive technologies were part and parcel of the mechanisms of ‘repicturing’. As insiders’ views on practices of imaging, as well as social and cultural norms of the time, Salon caricatures share their approach with modern art.

Key words: Salon caricature, comic, laughter, Baudelaire, Raymond Pelez, repicturing

Maartje Stols-Witlox (University of Amsterdam), ‘Changing images: reciprocity between nineteenth-century paintings conservation and art history’. Review of: Matthew Hayes, The Renaissance Restored. Paintings Conservation and the Birth of Modern Art History in nineteenth-century Europe, Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2021, 208 pp., USD 65,00, ISBN 9781606066966 (paperback). 27/MSW1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004186)

Abstract: Matthew Hayes’ volume examines the influence of nineteenth-century scholarship on the activities of contemporary paintings restorers, and, vice-versa, investigates how the visual effects of conservation treatments impacted contemporary scholarship. This reciprocal relationship is explored in four case studies, two situated in Italy (Giottesque frescoes and paintings by Titian), on in the United Kingdom (National Gallery London) and one in Germany (the Berlin museums). Hayes focuses on the treatment of paintings from the Renaissance, a period that knew strong interest from nineteenth-century scholars. He weaves together historical archival material (personal notes, correspondence, restoration records, historical photographs, etc.) and period texts (a.o. by Jacob Burckhardt, G.B. Cavalcaselle, Joseph Crowe), into a rich and accessible account, interspersed with examples of historical restoration treatments of well-known paintings and with restorer biographies. The resulting volume provides an entertaining and very accessible entry into the topic, whether the reader comes from (art) history or has a background in conservation.

Key words: conservation history, Italian Renaissance, art historiography, nineteenth century, Giotto, Titian, Charles Eastlake, Wilhelm Bode, Aloïs Hauser Jr., Jacob Burckhardt, G.B. Cavalcaselle, Joseph Crowe

Eva-Maria Troelenberg (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), ’Rediscovering objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe’. Review of: Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe, ed. by Isabelle Dolezalek and Mattia Guidetti, Studies in Art Historiography, New York and London: Routledge 2022, 188pp, 53 B/W Illustrations, £120, ISBN 9780367609474. 27/EMT1 (https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00004187)

Abstract: This article is a review of the volume Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe, edited by Isabelle Dolezalek and Mattia Guidetti. The volume claims to shed new light on an underestimated chapter in the historiography of the arts of Islam, particularly in their relation to Europe. The volume argues that advanced professionalization and scholarly network-building during the eighteenth century have led to important developments which were ground-breaking for the discipline of Islamic art history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The review follows the six object-led chapters of the book and concludes by placing its claim within a larger historiography of the arts of Islam.

Keywords: Islamic art, historiography, Enlightenment Europe, Orientalism, material culture