Author Archives: editorarthistoriography

About editorarthistoriography

Editor of the Journal of Art Historiography. Emeritus Professor and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of the History of Art, University of Birmingham.

New book on Dalmatian art history

Discovering Dalmatia: Dalmatia in Travelogues, Images, and Photographs

Katrina O’Loughlin, Ana Šverko, Elke Katharina Wittich (eds.)

Material description
410 pp.; color illus.

ISBN 978-953-7875-46-6

Here you can download impressum, contents, acknowledgments, preface, and list of contributors (pdf, 797 kb). Here you can purchase print edition of book € 25,00.


Discovering Dalmatia brings together twelve texts offering new interpretations of conceptions of the space, natural beauty, and cultural heritage of Dalmatia as a destination for educated travellers from the late seventeenth to the first half of the twentieth century. (…) It includes analyses of accounts by a wide range of travellers, from Jacob Spon, Robert Adam, Aleksander Sapieha, Ludwig Salvator, Franz Thiard de Laforest, numerous Viennese painters and Art History students, to Gertrude Bell and Bernard Berenson. (…) Before us is a book in which the “view from the outside” is considered in a critical, comparative, and contextual way. Dalmatian spaces are thus integrated once more into European spaces, in which the interest in this forgotten or unfamiliar, not to mention exotic, land first appeared during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The interpretations of the travelogues – from manuscripts and printed books to sketches, graphical representations, pictures, and photographs – focus on the shattering of prejudices, culture shocks, and the aesthetic experiences of a generation of European intellectuals, which allow contemporary readers to understand the value of this complex space, and to understand the establishment of the cultural and natural heritage of the Croatian coastal region. From a review by Marko Špikić.

The publications arising from the Discovering Dalmatia colloquia compellingly outline just how significant Iter Dalmaticum is for the global study of the Grand Tour. The conferences have uncovered a small constellation of European researchers who, with ever more precise insights and analytic nuances, studied the local monuments, geography, mentality, folk costumes, customs, and ultimately the perspectives of this little-known province on the edge of European civilisation. (…) This collection of papers demonstrates the way that knowledge about Dalmatia was changed and exchanged in the period spanning the seventeenth to the twentieth century. (…) The powerful intellectual curiosity and erudition of the travellers, as well as the emotion awakened by the balance between nature and picturesque architectural complexes, resulted in compelling personal impressions and subtle notes on the nature of the Dalmatia of the past. Scholarly studies gradually moved from their original focus on the Greek and Roman monuments that formed Dalmatia’s foundations to include an interest in the heritage of medieval municipalism, towards a discussion of the defining of national identity, and to an interpretation of Dalmatian monuments, which represent the distinctive contribution this extremely complex cultural environment made to the universal history of European civilisation. From a review by Joško Belamarić.

Two new books on Gottfried Semper in London

Michael Gnehm, Sonja Hildebrand, eds. Architectural History and Globalized Knowledge:
Gottfried Semper in London
, 2021. 19 × 25.5 cm, PDF. 224 pages, 112 illustrations. ISBN 978-3-85676-424-1. Text in English. Available in print edition for 35€ or Open Access PDF. https://verlag.gta.arch.ethz.ch/en/gta:book_978-3-85676-409-8

Gottfried Semper’s years in exile in London (1850–1855) were a time of highly inspirational experiences. The London of the first World Expo offered the German architect an immense trove of objects for study and an intellectual surrounding that provided seminal impulses for his innovative cultural-history-based theory of architecture. That revolutionary period found not only politics and society in radical upheaval, but also the world of art and science. Internationalization, and indeed globalization, of knowledge was thereby a particularly distinctive phenomenon, the most important place of which was the capital of the British Empire. The present volume, developed from a joint SNF research project through the Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture of the Università della Svizzera italiana and the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich, positions Semper jointly as an observer and actor during this time. It extends beyond a focus on Semper’s individual person to consider his work in designing, teaching and writing architecture based on his historical, architectural and disciplinary surroundings. The international authors are also interested in the continuation of Semper’s London concepts in his later works as well as his overall legacy in the history of ideas.

Gottfried Semper, London Writings 1850–1855. Introduction and commentary by Michael Gnehm, Sonja Hildebrand, Dieter Weidmann. With a critical apparatus and manuscript variants. 2021. 16.5 × 24 cm, hardcover. 594 pages, 35 illustrations 12 plates. ISBN 978-3-85676-403-6. Text in English, French or German. Available in print edition for 75€ or Open Access PDF.  https://verlag.gta.arch.ethz.ch/en/gta:book_978-3-85676-403-6

Gottfried Semper (1803–1879) left behind a voluminous legacy of architectural-theory writings. The manner, in his works, in which he analyzed architecture from a cultural-historical perspective as the key discipline in human artistry continues to exert a deep fascination up until today. The London Writings make available previously unpublished or little-known texts originating during Semper’s exile in London (1850–1855) in a critical and commented edition, including in their original wordings. Swayed by his impressions of the first Great Exhibition of 1851 and as a lecturer at the Department of Practical Art, it was in London that Semper laid the foundations for his theoretical magnum opus Der Stil (Style, 1860/63). He counterpoised the phenomena of the globalized flow of merchandise and a globalization of knowledge that he observed with his thoughts on the global development of architectural culture in all its manifold material, social and political conditions. The edition is the outcome of a joint SNSF research project between the Institute for History and Theory of Art and Architecture (ISA) at the Università della Svizzera italiana and the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta) at ETH Zurich.

A new book on Periodization in the Art Historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe

1st Edition

Periodization in the Art Historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe

Edited By Shona Kallestrup, Magdalena Kunińska, Mihnea Alexandru Mihail, Anna Adashinskaya, Cosmin Minea

ISBN 9781032013848. Published May 27, 2022 by Routledge. 290 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations

Book Description

This volume critically investigates how art historians writing about Central and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries engaged with periodization.

At the heart of much of their writing lay the ideological project of nation-building. Hence discourses around periodization – such as the mythicizing of certain periods, the invention of historical continuity and the assertion of national specificity – contributed strongly to identity construction. Central to the book’s approach is a transnational exploration of how the art histories of the region not only interacted with established Western periodizations but also resonated and ‘entangled’ with each other. In their efforts to develop more sympathetic frameworks that refined, ignored or hybridized Western models, they sought to overcome the centre–periphery paradigm which equated distance from the centre with temporal belatedness and artistic backwardness. The book thus demonstrates that the concept of periodization is far from neutral or strictly descriptive, and that its use in art history needs to be reconsidered.

Bringing together a broad range of scholars from different European institutions, the volume offers a unique new perspective on Central and Eastern European art historiography. It will be of interest to scholars working in art history, historiography and European studies.

Table of Contents

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

Introduction

The Editors

1. Linear, Entangled, Anachronic: Periodization and the Shapes of Time in Art History

Matthew Rampley

PART 2: WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN BYZANTINE

2.Renaissances in Byzantium and Byzantium in the Renaissance: the International Development of Ideas and Terminology in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Europe

Anna Adashinskaya

3. From Byzantine to Brâncovenesc: The Periodization of Romanian Art in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

Cosmin Minea

4. Regional Variations of the Byzantine Style. Canonization/Nationalization of Art and Architecture in South-Eastern Europe

Timo Hagen

5. Bulgarian versus Byzantine: The Unrealized Museum of the Bulgarian Revival and National Style Debates in Architecture ca. 1900

Ada Hajdu

PART 3: OUR ART IS IN TEXTBOOKS

6. Sztuka. Zarys jej dziejów (Art. A Survey of its History, 1872): The Disciplinary and Political Context of Józef Łepkowski’s Survey of Art History

Magdalena Kunińska

7. German Medievalism and Estonian Contemporaneity: Centre, Periphery and Periodization in the Histories of Baltic and Estonian Art, 1880s–1930s

Kristina Jõekalda

8. Periodization of Architecture in Croatian Art History: The Case of the ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Transitional’ Styles

Dubravka Botica

PART 4: TRADITION WAS INVENTED BY MODERNITY

9. The European and the National in Imperial Historiography and Periodization of the Russian School of Painting

Andrey Shabanov

10. Magmatic Foundations: The Emergence and Crystallization of Early Ideas of Periodization in Polish Painting in the Nineteenth Century

Natalia Koziara-Ocęduszko

11. Problematizing Periodization: Folk Art, National Narratives and Cultural Politics in Early Twentieth-Century Romanian Art History

Shona Kallestrup

12. Beyond the Provincial: Entanglements of Regional Modernism in Interwar Central Europe

Julia Secklehner

PART 5: TURNING POINTS

13. Disaster and Renewal, 1241–42: The Transition from Romanesque to Gothic in the Historiography of Medieval Art in the Kingdom of Hungary

Mihnea Alexandru Mihail

14. Modernism Versus Modernism: Socialist Realism and Its Discontents in Romania

Irina Cărăbaș

Editor(s)

Biography

Shona Kallestrup is Associate Lecturer in the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews. She was formerly Senior Researcher at New Europe College, Bucharest.

Magdalena Kunińska is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Art History at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She was formerly Senior Researcher at New Europe College, Bucharest.

Mihnea Alexandru Mihail is Assistant Professor at the National University of Arts, Bucharest, and a research fellow at New Europe College, Bucharest.

Anna Adashinskaya is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Laboratory for Medieval Studies of the Higher School of Economics, Moscow. She was formerly a postdoctoral fellow at New Europe College, Bucharest.

Cosmin Minea is a postdoctoral researcher for the Chair of the History and Theory of Architecture Prof. Dr. Maarten Delbeke at ETH Zürich. He was formerly a postdoctoral fellow at New Europe College, Bucharest.

Support Material

Open Access Content

Open Access content has been made available on our eBook platform.
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Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Review of Julia Langbein’s Laugh Lines: Caricaturing Painting in Nineteenth-Century France

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.

Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius (Birkbeck College) 27/KMM1

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

C. Oliver O’Donnell, a response to Ian Verstegen’s review of Meyer Schapiro’s Critical Debates

Art history and empiricism: a response to Ian Verstegen’s review of Meyer Schapiro’s Critical Debates

C. Oliver O’Donnell (Warburg Institute) 27/OD1


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 skeptical 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

Elizabeth Mansfield, Review of Terry Smith’s Art to Come: Histories of Contemporary Art

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.

Elizabeth Mansfield (Penn State) 27/EM1

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

Just published: Number 26 June 2022

Translating Warhol: Guest edited by Reva Wolf (State University of New York at New Paltz)

Reva Wolf, ‘Translating Warhol: turbamento, transmutation, transference’ 26/RWf1

Jean-Claude Lebensztejn (University of Paris I—Pantheon-Sorbonne), ‘Warhol in French’ 26/J-CL1

Nina Schleif (Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München), ‘Schnecken, Schlitzmonger, and Poltergeist: Andy Warhol in German—translations and cultural context’ 26/NS1

Francesco Guzzetti (University of Florence), ‘La Filosofia di Andy Warhol and the turmoil of art in Italy, 1983’ 26/FG1

Annika Öhrner (Södertörn University), ‘Warhol in translation, Stockholm 1968: “many works and few motifs”’ 26/AO1

Elaine Rusinko (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), ‘Andy and Julia in Rusyn: Warhol’s translation of his mother in film and video’ 26/ER1

Jean Wainwright (University for the Creative Arts, Surrey), ‘Translating Warhol for television: Andy Warhol’s America’ 26/JW1

Deven M. Patel (University of Pennsylvania), ‘Translating texts, translating readers: could Andy Warhol’s writings be translated into Indian languages?’ 26/DMP1

Studies on the Cicognara Library, Part 1 of a series: Guest edited by Jeanne-Marie Musto (New York Public Library)

Jeanne-Marie Musto, Introduction 26/JMM1

Barbara Steindl (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut), ‘The early years of Leopoldo Cicognara’s book collection’ 26/BS1

Translation: Barbara Steindl (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut), ‘Collecting art books: the library of Leopoldo Cicognara and his bibliographic system’ 26/BS2

The Print in the Codex: Guest edited by Jeanne-Marie Musto (New York Public Library)

Jeanne-Marie Musto, Introduction 26/JMM2

Sarah C. Schaefer (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), ‘Bibles unbound: the material semantics of nineteenth-century scriptural illustration’ 26/SCS1

The Influence of the Vienna School of Art History II: The 100th Anniversary of Max Dvořák’s Death, Part 2 with the editorial assistance of Tomáš Murár (Czech Academy of Sciences)

Katja Mahnič (University of Ljubljana), ‘Max Dvořak and the founding of the “Ljubljana School of Art History”’ 26/KM1

Gaia Schlegel (Università della Svizzera italiana and the Philipps-Universität Marburg), ‘Competing images: illustrated volumes by Max Dvořák and his contemporaries shaping national Art History’ 26/GS1

General papers

Hans Bloemsma (University College Roosevelt, Middelburg), ‘Henry Moore and the historiography of early Italian art’ 26/HB1

Chiara Cecalupo (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), ‘The study and dissemination of an iconography: banquet scenes from the catacombs of Rome to the facsimile catacombs of the nineteenth century’ 26/CC1

Samuel O’Connor Perks (Independent, Leuven), ‘Between mysticism and industry: Breuer, the Benedictines and a binder‘ 26/SOP1

Jindřich Vybíral (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (UMPRUM) in Prague), ‘A man of many gifts and the anti-materialistic struggle in the arts: Ferdinand Feldegg’s monographs on Friedrich Ohmann and Leopold Bauer’ 26/JV1

Amanda Wasielewski (Stockholm University), ‘Interfaces of art: Meyer Schapiro, Fernand Léger, and the role of the art historian in anachronistic artistic influence’ 26/AWa1

Alex Weintraub (Columbia University), ‘Perpetual iridescence, or Impressionism’s minor harmonies’ 26/AWe1

Tommaso Zerbi (Bibliotheca Hertziana), ‘”Neo-Medievalism Studies”, Italy, and the Four Ghosts: architectural history and the study of medievalism’ 26/TZ1

Documents

E. H. Gombrich, ‘Reflections on teaching art history in art schools paper given, 4th January, 1966’ 26/EHG1

Jonathan Blower (Independent, London), ‘Max Dvořák, Wilhelm von Bode, and the Monuments of German Art’ 26/JB1

Tomáš Kowalski (Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava), ‘Conference report on: Max Dvořák and the “Denkmalpflege”, 13 October 2021, Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic’ 26/TK1

Elizabeth McGoey (Art Institute of Chicago) and Elizabeth Siegel (Art Institute of Chicago), ‘Photography and Folk Art at the Art Institute of Chicago: new models for exhibitions and scholarship’ 26/EMcG1

Discussion about Matthew Rampley, ‘Networks, horizons, centres and hierarchies: on the challenges of writing on modernism in Central Europe’, special issue of Umění: Journal of The Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, 69:2, 2021, edited by Steven Mansbach. This journal is normally only available on subscription but the editor has kindly agreed to allow the publication of this issue for readers of Katarzyna’s review. 26/U1 (7mB file)

 Reviews

Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘The place of Modernism in Central European art’. Review of: Discussion about Matthew Rampley, ‘Networks, horizons, centres and hierarchies: on the challenges of writing on modernism in Central Europe’, special issue of Umění: Journal of The Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, 69:2, 2021, edited by Steven Mansbach, pp. 142-215, 19 col. plates and 6 b. & w. illus., 99 CZK, ISSN 00495123  26/KMM1

Ian Verstegen (University of Pennsylvania), ‘America’s greatest empiricist’. Review of: Meyer Schapiro’s Critical Debates: Art Through a Modern American Mind by C. Oliver O’Donnell, University Park: Penn State University Press, 2019, 272pp, 36 b. & w. illus. ISBN 9780271084640 26/IV1

New French translation of Panofsky on German sculpture

On April 12, 2022, German Sculpture from the 11th to the 13th Century, by Erwin Panofsky, will be published by the Strasbourg University Press (PUS), in the “Art Historiography” collection. Published in 1924 and translated for the first time into French, this work is one of the first publications of the famous art historian. This edition makes accessible a founding work somewhat overshadowed by the works of maturity. A presentation by Christian Freigang puts the work in perspective and places it in the historical, intellectual and philosophical context in which Panofsky evolved during the first part of his career. German sculpture from the 11th to the 13th century is the third title in the “Art Historiography” collection, directed by Roland Recht (Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, University of Strasbourg). Please find attached the press kit and the cover of the book. Note that Roland Recht will be at the Bnu in Strasbourg on April 19 and at the Kléber bookstore in Strasbourg on April 22 to present the book.

Le 12 avril 2022 paraîtra aux Presses universitaires de Strasbourg (PUS) La sculpture allemande du XIe au XIIIe siècle, d’Erwin Panofsky, dans la collection « Historiographie de l’art ».

Publié en 1924 et traduit pour la première fois en français, cet ouvrage est l’une des premières publications du célèbre historien de l’art. La présente édition rend accessible un travail fondateur quelque peu occulté par les œuvres de la maturité. Une présentation de Christian Freigang met l’œuvre en perspective et la replace dans le contexte historique, intellectuel et philosophique où a évolué Panofsky durant la première partie de sa carrière. La sculpture allemande du XIe au XIIIe siècle est le troisième titre de la collection « Historiographie de l’art », dirigée par Roland Recht (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Université de Strasbourg).

Je vous prie de trouver ci-joint le dossier de presse et la couverture du livre.

À noter que Roland Recht sera à la Bnu de Strasbourg le 19 avril et à la librairie Kléber, à Strasbourg, le 22 avril, pour présenter l’ouvrage.

Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius on the Challenges of writing on Modernism in Central Europe: a review

The place of Modernism in Central European art

Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Review of: Discussion about Matthew Rampley, ‘Networks, horizons, centres and hierarchies: on the challenges of writing on modernism in Central Europe’, special issue of Umění: Journal of The Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, 69:2, 2021, edited by Steven Mansbach, pp. 142-215, 19 col. plates and 6 b. & w. illus., 99 CZK, ISSN 00495123; 18046509 (online). 26/KMM1

The Editor of Umění, Pavla Machalíková, has kindly agreed to make this issue of the journal available to readers of this review. It may be downloaded by clicking here (7 Mb file). It is not normally available online and would need a subscription for regular access.

Abstract: Piotr Piotrowski’s concept of horizontal art history was first formulated in his article ‘On the spatial turn, or horizontal art history’, published in Umění in 2008. Devised for East Central Europe, it derived its impetus from critical geography, which offered him tools for negotiating both the pitfalls of western art history marginalising the peripheries, as well as the conceptual framework provided by postcolonial theory. The precepts of the horizontal art history, widely discussed and used both within and outside the region, have been recently re-examined by Matthew Rampley who submitted to Umění a provocative article, assessing its aims and impact, as well proposing a new set of insights on methods and practices of studies on modern art of the region. This text is a review of the debate which, stimulated in turn by Rampley’s contribution, was published in the same issue of Umění in 2021. Guest edited by Steven Mansbach, the issue includes texts by Beáta Hock, Marie Rakušanová, Milena Bartlova, Magdalena Radomska, Jeremy Howard, Raino Isto, Claire Farago, Timothy O. Benson and Éva Forgács.

Key words: East Central Europe, pitfalls of western art history, postcolonial theory, horizontal art history, canon, hierarchy, centre and periphery, Piotrowski

Notice of a new book on André Chastel

Hervier, Dominique ; Renzulli, Eva: André Chastel. Portrait d’un historien de l’art (1912-1990), Paris: La documentation française, 2020

ISBN 978-2-11-157248-5

Eur 24,00

Jean-Marie Guillouët (Professor of medieval art history at the Université de Bourgogne and Scientific secretary of the Comité international d’histoire de l’art – CIHA)

Rarely has the personality of an art historian been so in tune with a moment in the history of the discipline as that of André Chastel (1912-1990). Chastel began his long career after the Second World War as an assistant at the Sorbonne, where he defended his thesis in 1950. Elected directeur d’études at the École Pratique des Hautes Études the following year and professor at the Sorbonne in 1955, he joined the Collège de France in 1970 and the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres in 1975. This brief cursus honorum scarcely reflects the eminence of André Chastel in art history during this period. Indeed, one cannot overemphasize his role in giving the discipline a hitherto unknown importance in French public policies. He was a major public figure, known to a broad audience through his articles in Hubert Beuve-Méry’s Le Monde right after the War, and later, by a regular column in the same newspaper. He enjoyed undeniable international recognition, due not only to his scientific activity but also to the constant support of the French État culturel represented by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the administration of Higher Education. In that sense, the career and activity of André Chastel offer an extraordinary perspective on the discipline of art history in France during the “Trente Glorieuses” and the following decades.

Following the 2012 colloquium dedicated to the activity, methods and causes of André Chastel[1], Dominique Hervier and Eva Renzulli deliver in this monography a very thoroughly documented portrait of the art historian himself and a detailed report of the dialogue he engaged with his society. Having been André Chastel’s graduate student in the late 1960s, Dominique Hervier was ideally suited to lead this undertaking, conjointly with a researcher of a following generation. The first chapter of their book deals with the methodological issues of their documentation: the authors draw on many direct sources, both oral and manuscript, as well as some thirty interviews of actors in the discipline who worked with André Chastel. The solid introduction contributed by Pierre Vaisse draws some very useful and synthetic lines of analysis for the post-War history of the discipline, which, along with all the above-mentioned testimonies, paints an enlightening picture of the field during Chastel’s career, that is to say during the years 1950s to 1980s.

The second section of this book deals with the activity of André Chastel as a teacher and a director of research. The authors rightfully place these pedagogical experiences in the continuity of Chastel’s activity as a secondary school teacher, right after he left the École normale supérieure. This part highlights his contribution to the founding and development of the Centre de recherches sur l’histoire de l’architecture moderne (Crham). The third section is entirely devoted to the activity of André Chastel in the construction of the French patrimonial institutions and policies during the “Trente Glorieuses”. There, the authors bring together an important documentation and different testimonies to highlight how Chastel took part in the administration of the Monuments Historiques, and the momentum he gave to such important endeavors as the Secteurs sauvegardés and, in particular, the Inventaire général des richesses d’art de la France, the great project (his grand dessein) for French artistic heritage that Chastel shared with André Malraux. Indeed, the fourth section of the book deals with the role played by A. Chastel in the international and political dynamic of the discipline, as well as the place he had as a well-known columnist or editor. In this regard, the authors do not fail to mention the mandate of A. Chastel as scientific secretary of the Comité International d’histoire de l’art (CIHA). Indeed, as George Kubler recalls, “André Chastel was for years the central figure [of the CIHA]”, and not only because “he was important scholastically but also because he had the French government behind him[2]”.

These last lines confirm that, for those who want to understand the history of post-War art history in France, the figure of André Chastel constitutes an irreplaceable point of observation. Dominique Hervier and Eva Renzulli thus provide a precious source of documentation for historians who wish to study this critical moment in French intellectual and political history.


[1] Frommel, Sabine ; Hochmann, Michel ; Sénéchal, Philippe (ed.), André Chastel. Méthodes et combats d’un historien de l’art, Paris: Picard, 2015.

[2] P. 331.