24 Feb 2013

Ervin Panofsky - Melancholy again...

German Art historian, fled the Nazi Drang and Sturm and taught in the US.
Proponent or even founder of Iconology (study of meaning, content).
"...together with A. Warburg and F. Saxl provided the foundation for the iconological approach to the study of works of art. Striving to overcome the one-sidedness of both the stylistic and the purely iconographic approaches, he proposed that a work of art be considered as a characteristic manifestation—a sign or “symptom”—of a cultural-historical situation, which is reflected not only in the choice of the subject but also in the artistic style. In his research, which was devoted mainly to medieval and Renaissance art, Panofsky analyzed peculiarities of form within the context of a philological and historical-philosophical interpretation of the content." Russian Encyclopedia
Anyway, Panofsky, being a German had enormous interest and knowledge of German art and of Albrecht Durer in particular. Together with several authors, a work has taken shape of a true compendium of the knowledge of and and history and anthropology, literature, medeval medicine you name it - around the theme of Melancholy. A. Durer's "Melancholy I" was the trigger of the work (by the way, apparently there was Melancholy II, but is no more...)

File:Dürer Melancholia I.jpg
Melancholia I, A.Durer (Wiki)
Being so interested in certain subjects of Art History I sought this book for quite some time.
Last year I became desperate, I looked on Amazone and almost dropped dead: over 700.00 for a used copy,  this book has been out of print in English since its only print run in 1964!
Christ, I thought, I need to rob a bank. But, I looked more and there I found it:  a complete Polish translation, hard cover with dust jacked so what did I do - I have asked my darling sister, to buy me this book. Apparently this book has been printed also in German and in Spanish relatively recently - obviously the countries where the interest in certain themes and motives of history of art never die.

My sweet Lila bought me this book - Raymond Klibansky, Erwin Panofsky and Fritz Saxl.
I can marvel to my heart's content in the matters that interest me so much. Last year, "out of nostalgia for melancholy" I have reproduced myself a small self-portrait of Durer, as a young man, this one -->

This book is amazing in the amount of detail, you can imagine over 400 pages, two-colums text is a lot of good read... It is a collection of study of those three men, poor Mr. Saxl never lived to see the first printed edition.


Here is a book, right on my lap, as it arrived on Februrary 12, 2013!
It has prompted me to post several of earlier drafted posts on one of my favourite subject - the Big M

Thank you Sis!
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