History and Images: Towards a New Iconology
Axel Bolvig, Phillip Lindley
Brepols, 2003 - Art - 430 pages
This important collection of essays represents a wide variety of new approaches to the deployment of images by historians. Methodological debates and historiographical concerns are explored by distinguished international scholars. Ground-breaking technological innovations in the last two decades of the twentieth century have led to the development of huge image databases, offering outstanding new opportunities for comparison, analysis and interrogation. This was apparent from the database demonstrations at the congress on History and Images in Copenhagen in 1999. Several of the papers included here summarise recent research or disclose the potential of the new technologies for posing - and answering - novel types of question. A common concern of many contributors to this volume has been the reconfiguring of Art History to encompass areas that have often been viewed as marginal - geographically, physically or intellectually, for example. As each of the nineteen essays demonstrates, approaches to the employment and interpretation of the visual image by historians have never been more widely debated. The book as a whole suggests that established methodologies have been increasingly rendered obsolete or inappropriate by post-modern intellectual diversity and by the dramatic developments of technology. The subtitle of the book ("Towards a New Iconology") reveals that a potent new dialogue between historian and image and between contemporary and historical constructions of reality, is in the process of construction.
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