Aby Warburg, Images and Exhibitions

By Rampley, Matthew | Journal of Art Historiography, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Aby Warburg, Images and Exhibitions


Rampley, Matthew, Journal of Art Historiography


Aby Warburg, Images and Exhibitions Review of: Aby Warburg, Bilderreihen und Ausstellungen edited by Uwe Fleckner and Isabelle Woldt, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012. 470 pp. ISBN: 978-3-05- 004268-8. 248 Euros

As Aby Warburg has become the object of increasing critical attention in the past 30 or so years, scholars have encountered a basic difficulty: the restricted availability of his writings. During his lifetime Warburg published only a small number of articles and essays, and plans to bring out his complete works in the 1930s stopped with the two-volume The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity, which mostly consisted of material that had already appeared in the public domain, but with the addition of synopses of some of his lectures.1 For Anglophone scholars the problem was even worse; aside from his lecture on the serpent ritual that was published in the Journal of the Warburg Institute in 1939, the only other writings that were available in English were those passages selected by Sir Ernst Gombrich for inclusion in his intellectual biography of Warburg of 1970.2

Since the mid-1990s the situation has dramatically changed. Not only did Nicholas Mann, director of the Warburg Institute, open up the Warburg Archive and encourage scholars to engage with its material, also, the Getty Research Institute funded a translation of The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity, while a revised version of his serpent ritual lecture was also published in the United States.3 As anyone familiar with the Warburg Archive in London will know, however, this represents only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, Gombrich's biography, for all its limitations, performed an invaluable service in indicating the intellectual richness of Warburg's extensive unpublished oeuvre, from lecture drafts to notebooks and countless unfinished projects.

There have been attempts to bring some of this material to light, such as a German edition of his lecture on astrology dedicated to the memory of Franz Boll, or an Italian translation (with parallel German text) of Warburg's early notebooks 'Basic Fragments towards a monistic Psychology of Art'.4 A recent single-volume of Warburg's collected works included the contents of The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity as well as various other essays and lectures from the archive, including the introduction to the Mnemosyne Atlas and his early text 'Symbolism as the Determination of Scope.'5 By far the most ambitious project, however, has been the edition of the complete works of Warburg published by the Akademie Verlag in Berlin, of which this is the latest volume. Beginning with the re-publication of The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity in 1998, the project, a collaboration between the Warburg Institute and the University of Hamburg, will include all the significant material in the Warburg Archive.

The current volume, which gathers together the various thematic sets and series of images Warburg compiled after his return to Hamburg from Kreuzlingen in 1925, is very much a companion to the Mnemosyne Atlas, already published as part of the edition in 1999.6 Publication of the latter was already a welcome step, for although it had become the object of a considerable degree of interest, the Atlas remained elusive, its plates existing in several different versions in the Warburg Archive, successive commentaries offering only glimpses. The latest volume is not only significant in its right for making a new body of material available, it is also valuable in casting light on the Mnemosyne.

One of the key questions to do with the Atlas has been that of its status. While its format was novel, it was generally assumed to represent the culmination of Warburg's oeuvre, a synoptic presentation of the themes that had preoccupied him for the previous 35 to 40 years. Thus, familiar subjects reappear, such as the Palazzo Schifanoia frescoes, the Tempio Malatestiano, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Primavera, astrological symbols, or the pathos formulae of Mantegna, Dürer and Rembrandt, confirming the sense that it was, in a certain sense, merely a restatement of his lifelong concerns. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Aby Warburg, Images and Exhibitions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.