Kategorie: Bilderfahrzeuge

Das Projekt „Bilderfahrzeuge – Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology“ widmet sich der Erforschung der Wanderung von Bildern, Objekte, Waren und Texten, kurz gesagt der Wanderung von Ideen in einem breiten historischen und geografischen Kontext. Das Projekt wird gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung und von der Max Weber Stiftung in Kooperation ausgeführt. Arbeitsschwerpunkt ist das Warburg Institute in London, weitere Mitglieder des Forschungsverbunds sind das Deutsche Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris, die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, das Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz und das Warburg Haus der Universität Hamburg.

The four versions of Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Picture Atlas.

Most discussions of Aby Warburg’s picture atlas understandably focus on issues of iconography and iconology. In contrast, this blog concentrates exclusively on aspects of its material history and the photographic campaigns that guaranteed the survival of the various stages, or ‘series’ of the Atlas. Much of this history has been discussed by Claudia Wedepohl and the curators of the recent Mnemosyne atlas exhibition, Roberto Ohrt and Axel Heil, in their monumental publication Aby Warburg: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne – The Original [1]. The present blog revisits these issues with a tight focus on the questions ‘What did the original atlas in Hamburg consist of?’ and ‘How many times was it photographed?’ While I propose a different answer to the second question than the above mentioned authors, with regard to the first one, my aim is rather to present in greater detail the basic facts. I am doing this not least to counter some misconceptions of the original presentation of the atlas in the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (K.B.W.)

Dusty Frames: Looking at 19th and 20th Century Art in the Courtauld Gallery.

Ascending the semi-circular staircase of the Courtauld Gallery, with its freshly coated electric blue bannisters, the visitor undertakes a physically demanding and intellectually exhilarating climb through centuries of artistic production that are carefully arranged across three floors. The Gallery has recently reopened its doors with much pomp after a two-year hiatus for building renovations, welcoming seasoned and new crowds to its sleek, clean-cut spaces.

Die Welt Spiegeln. Fritz Saxl, Rudolf Bernoulli und eine Sammlung kosmologischer Bilder

Am 11. Januar 1929 schreibt Fritz Saxl an den Schweizer Kunsthistoriker Rudolf Bernoulli, Konservator der graphischen Sammlung der ETH in Zürich: Es „ist doch wirklich sehr schade, dass der Weltspiegel nicht mehr die Welt weiter zu spiegeln beabsichtigt.” Kurz zuvor hatte Bernoulli ihm die Einstellung einer Serie von Vignetten historischer Kosmosbilder angekündigt, die er ab 1921 wöchentlich im Weltspiegel publiziert hatte. Er bot auch an, der K.B.W. etwaige Nummern, die noch fehlten, nachzusenden. So finden sich in der Bibliothek des Warburg Institute heute sämtliche Exemplare des Weltspiegels von 1921 bis 1929 als gebundene Sammlung.

Hero Recast as Human: Transformation of Rustam in the Shāhnāmā

Through the centuries, Persian classical tales have regaled audiences with stories narrating the lives and emotions of diverse human actors, including heroes and anti-heroes, transmitted orally as well as copied into manuscripts containing illustrations. One of the most-loved heroes of Persian classical literature is the legendary Rustam, the fiery and brave military commander and king-maker from Sistan.

Bewegtes Beiwerk, Nachleben, and shi 勢 (energy)

The revival of certain elements such as bewegtes Beiwerk was certainly due to the “period of discovery” that Botticelli witnessed in the early Renaissance. In this period, the circulation and migration of human beings, artworks, and knowledge started to become a part of daily life. Something similar, one might add, occurred in the sixteenth century; at this time, the Portuguese merchants and, shortly after, the Jesuits arrived in China. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, new painting techniques, innovative compositions, new types of subject matter and renewed philosophical and scientific interests and thoughts emerged.

Die Fährtenleser

Grenzzäune werden seit jeher überwunden – und das nicht nur von Menschen und Waren, sondern auch von Ideen und künstlerischen Formen. Wie diese den Raum durchqueren, die Zeiten überdauern, sich widerständig selbst behaupten und in neuen kulturellen, sozialen und politischen Kontexten Aktualisierungen erfahren, untersuchen Forschende im Verbund­­­­­­­­­­­projekt „Bilderfahrzeuge – Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology“.

Allan Ramsay at the National Galleries of Scotland

For the scholar, it is unsurprising to learn of two 18th century portraits, originally conceived as a pair, which nevertheless became separated, ending up over the generations in different collections. Such is the fate of many paintings, especially those on canvas, which is a two-dimensional pictorial support whose very persistence through the centuries is tied to its mobility. Combined with the durability of oil paint itself, the portability of canvas is part of what makes oil paintings desirable, valuable, even, one might speculate, so entrenched in Western culture.