Alois Riegl

Available Winter 2020 | Contact us to pre-order

About the book

Alois Riegl was one of the principal figures in the creation of art history as a discipline in its own right. Known principally for his theory of the Kunstwöllen, Riegl was also one of the most influential art historians practising formalism. Who the Hell is Alois Riegl? traces his life and the influences that helped form his ideas, before taking a look at those original and influential ideas in detail.

Chapter 1: Riegl's Life Story

Chapter 2: Influences on Riegl's Thinking

Chapter 3: Kunstwöllen
This chapter takes us through Riegl's concept of the Kunstwöllen, which describes the creative drive that shapes each era's artistic output. Riegl's fascinating theory reveals how and why artists from different periods represented the perceptual and social world in the way that they did.

Chapter 4: Role of the Spectator
Following on from the previous chapter, here we look at how the Kunstwöllen played out in Holland. By examining Dutch portraiture, Riegl reveals how the driving force behind Dutch painters' work was what he refers to as 'the role of the spectator'.

Chapter 5: Method in Action: Through Riegl's Gaze
Applying Riegl's concept to examples of artworks today, this chapter sets out to reveal what the Kunstwöllen has to say about our modern-day era.

About the author

Mohsen Veysi is an artist and researcher based in Florence and Milan. He has received a Diploma in Visual Arts and New Media from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Humanities at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. His research focuses on global art and art history. Mohsen lives in Milan, Italy.