What is meaning in art

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what is meaning in art

Meaning in the Visual Arts by Erwin Panofsky

Since its original publication, Erwin Panofskys Meaning in the Visual Arts has been standard reading for students of art history. It is both an introduction to the study of art and, for those with more specialized interests, a profound discussion of art and life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Panofskys historical technique reveals an abundance of detail, detail he skillfully relates to the life and work of individual painters and their times.

The papers in this volume represent a cross-section of Panofskys major work. Included are selections from his well-known Studies in Iconology and The Life and Art of Albrecht Durer, plus an introduction and an epilogue—The History of Art as a Humanistic Discipline and Three Decades of Art History in the United States: Impressions of a Transplanted European—as well as pieces written especially for this collection. All display Panofskys vast erudition and deep commitment to a humanistic conception of art and art history.
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Published 09.10.2019

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The Brooklyn Rail is participating in the Venice Biennale. In recent years, meaning in art is rarely discussed by critics in terms of abstract painting. The implication is that the survival of meaning in art hovers somewhere outside of abstract painting. The alternatives range from illustration on canvas to digital photography, from deconstructive texts to destructive installations, from kitsch assemblages to interactive cyber-pods. Is the concept of meaning in art long-gone, out-of-fashion, overspoiled?

3 thoughts on “Meaning in the Visual Arts by Erwin Panofsky

  1. Sometimes when we look at a piece of art we understand it. It's meaning is obvious to us. Sometimes we do not understand it on a rational level, we simply feel.

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