Erwin Panofsky

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About the book

Who the Hell is Erwin Panofsky? not only looks at Panofsky the person but also a defining moment in art history, where one man brought together several existing approaches to evaluating art and added powerful new ones of his own. This book aims to bring the man and his times to life, while also deciphering his often complicated ideas and present them in such a way that they are easy to understand.

Chapter 1: Panofsky's Life Story

Chapter 2: Influences on Panofsky's Thinking

Chapter 3: A Science of Art
Panofsky's methodology begins with philosophical thought which he applied in a carefully structured way, creating a framework for a more scientifically based art history. This chapter takes us through Panofsky's search for his 'Archimedean Point', which would provide the missing philosophical part to his formal and cultural method.

Chapter 4: Iconography and Iconology
This chapter explains in detail how Panofsky developed his iconographical/iconological methodology, in his search for the 'intrinsic meaning' or 'symbolic value' of an artwork.

Chapter 5: Method in Action
Following on from the previous chapter, here Panofsky's tripartite method is applied to a 1514 engraving by the German artist, Albrecht Dürer, uncovering the more hidden cultural traditions present at the time the painter made the work.

About the author

Alice Bowden is a writer and editor based in Suffolk, UK. Having worked in book publishing for 20 years, Alice went on to study an MA in Art History at the Open University. She then set up her own publishing company Bowden & Brazil Ltd, writing the first book in this series Who the hell is...? As well as running the day to day business of the company, Alice commissions and edits the other books in the series.