Three Essays on Style
with a memoir by William S. Heckscher
Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) was one of the preeminent art historians of the twentieth century. A new translation of his seminal work, Perspective as Symbolic Form, was recently published by Zone Books; now three remarkable essays, one previously unpublished, place Panofsky's genius in a different perspective: What Is Baroque?, Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures,and The Ideological Antecedents of the Rolls-Royce Radiator. The essays are framed by an introduction by Irving Lavin, Panofsky's successor as Professor of Art History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, discussing the context of the essays' composition and their significance within Panofsky's oeuvre, and an insightful memoir by Panofsky's former student, close friend, and fellow emigre, William Heckscher.
All three essays reveal unexpected aspects of Panofsky's sensibility, both personal and intellectual. Originally written as lectures for general audiences, they are composed in a lively, informal manner, and are full of charm and wit. The studies concern broadly defined problems of style in art—the visual symptoms endemic to works of a certain period (Baroque), medium (film), or national identity (England)—as opposed to the focus on iconography and subject matter usually associated with Panofsky's "method." The essay on Baroque, which Lavin considers "vintage Panofsky" and which appears here for the first time, and the one on film were written in 1934. The Rolls-Royce piece was written in 1962.
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Adriaen Brouwer aesthetic Alinari altarpiece Annibale Carracci architecture art history artistic Baroque art beauty Berlin Bernini Bibl Bronzino called caricature Cathedral century character church cited in note classical cultural Descent into Limbo Diirer Early Netherlandish Painting emotional England English art Erwin Panofsky essay fact feeling Festschrift film Florence Fritz Saxl garden Gerda Panofsky German Gothic Hamburg Heckscher Henry High Renaissance Hisperica Famina historians human humanistic Iconography Iconology Ideological Antecedents Institute intellectual Kunst Lavin lecture Lehmann-Brockhaus London mannerism manneristic means medieval Michelangelo modern moving picture Museum nature neristic Night in Casablanca original painting Palladian Panof Panofsky's period plastic play Pontormo Princeton principle psychology Raphael reality Robert Adam Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce Radiator Roman Rome Rutland Psalter scholars Scipione Borghese sculpture Sebastian spatial stage Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek Style and Medium term tion University Visual Arts Warburg William Wolfflin words York