Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to Panofsky, August 20, 2012
This review is from: Meaning in the Visual Arts (Paperback)
Erwin Panofsky was indisputably one of the greatest art historians of the twentieth, or any other, century, virtually one of the founding fathers of the discipline in its modern form. His work ranged from rarified theoretical speculations on abstract aesthetic topics to very concrete exegeses of well known paintings, and the titles of some of his books indicate the breadth of that scholarly panorama: "Perspective as Symbolic Form" and "Idea: A Concept in Art Theory" on one hand, to "The Life and Art of Albrecht Duerer" and "Problems in Titian, Mostly Iconographic" on the other. He is best known for his work on the Renaissance and on iconography, and although some of his conclusions have been challenged by more recent scholarship (he died in 1968), his "Studies in Iconology," from 1939, is a masterpiece and remains the most influential study in that field.

In fact, though, all of Panofsky's work is essential reading in whatever area he chose to write on, and this volume of collected pieces, in gathering together representative examples, serves as an excellent introduction. The only serious omission is a sample of his work on early Netherlandish painting, which was a major preoccupation and a two-volume book of that title. But it does contain the introductory chapters to his books on iconography and the Abbey Church of St.-Denis; essays on Duerer's reception of classical antiquity and Poussin and the elegiac tradition; some occasional pieces on Titian and Vasari, etc. Most of these pieces are reprinted from previous English-language sources, but some of them have been translated from the German and appear here in English for the first time.

Panofsky is not easy to read. That is not because his organization is confusing or his writing unclear; on the contrary, he writes extremely clearly, especially for a German-trained academic. But his thinking is very precise and he wastes no words, so everything is very tightly argued and constructed, and he is not done with a subject until he has wrung out of it more meaning than you thought it could contain. One does well not to let one's attention flag and to be prepared for frequent rereading. But it is well worth the effort. Panofsky was one of the intellectual giants of the last century, and any acquaintance with his thinking is an invaluable experience; when you study a couple of his pages closely and realize that you have just learned more than you usually do from a couple of chapters of other writers, you know you are in good hands and are inspired to keep reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece in Art History, March 29, 2000
By 
"vladi67" (Bologna, Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Meaning in the Visual Arts (Paperback)
This book is a collection of different papers written by Panofsky during the years of his exile in America. Their content is often technical and hard to read, but some of them (like the one about the meaning of Poussin's and Guercino's "Et in Arcadia Ego" and the last one about the History of Art in America) are brilliant and sometimes even funny. This is one of the first book I've read about "iconology" and (together with the book about Duhrer's Melancholy) has made me falling in love with Art History. I think that this book is one of the best results of the interaction between different cultures (here, European and American).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essays by a great scholar in the field, January 9, 2005
This review is from: Meaning in the Visual Arts (Paperback)
Panofsky was one of the great founding fathers of Art History. His studies in Iconology opened up a whole new way of reading meaning into works of Art. In this work he combines masterful scholarship with great theoretical innovativeness to provide his own reading of the world of Art. Though his systematic approach can at times feel abstract he nonetheless continually gives the sense that the understanding of works of Art is an intellectual adventure of the highest order and of the most profound meanings.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Meaning in the Visual Arts
Meaning in the Visual Arts by Erwin Panofsky (Paperback - March 15, 1983)
$32.50 $25.78
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.