Year of Graduation
Iconological Method and the Trajectory of its Development on the Material of "The Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes" (in the period 1937-1970s)
School of Cultural Studies
The research of visual media environments and visual culture is an integral part of contemporary academic landscape, which represents one of the most efficient forms of theorizing dynamic transformations in the culture and society. In the light of these transformations, connected with the so-called ‘visual turn’, images and their perception, respectively, start to strongly effect the life of society. Therefore the phenomenon of visual culture needs a special approach, concerned with particular features of visual images. Such an approach is iconology, the science about images. But besides iconology, understood in its broad sense, which is applicable to every image, there is iconology in its narrow sense, the method within art history, that deals with symbolic meaning of the work of art. Precisely on this branch of iconology, connected with art history and its motifs, this project is concentrated. Traditionally this method is qualified in most historiographical and art history works as an abstract theoretical construction, coming from the head of A. Warburg, E. Panofsky and their followers, like Minerva did from the head of Jupiter. Meanwhile A. Warburg himself, as we know, has expressed the essence of iconology in the formula ‘God is in details’, and E. Wind in one of his articles ‘happily admitted that for him the final conclusion is much less important than the details, which can be found on the way to this conclusion’. As a result this area completely lacks special studies, so-called case-studies, aimed at studying particular episodes in the history of iconology. Although such a study could allow to consider Sitz im Leben theoretical apparatus of iconology, forms and paradoxes of iconological method in practice, communication theory of their application and interaction with other theories. The project in order to deal with the challenge is divided in two parts, which shows different stages of development of the method, connected with the names of Aby Warburg’s followers, while the preliminary thesis consider the heterogeneity and receptivity of the method, as Warburgarian School is less about a set of universal tools, than the synthesis of unique approaches and results of individual researches.