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Book Title: Perspective as Symbolic Form|
The author of the book: Erwin Panofsky
ISBN 13: 9780942299533
Edition: Zone Books
Date of issue: December 11th 1996
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 25.38 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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Here at last is a published translation of this classic essay, available for many years in every major European language except English. It first appeared in 1927 ... and its status has since been established by the numerous commentators who have referred to it as the source of a new kind of interpretation of perspective."
-- Robin Evans, AA Files Erwin Panofsky's "Perspective as Symbolic Form" is one of the great works of modern intellectual history, the legendary text that has dominated all art historical and philosophical discussions on the topic of perspective in this century. Finally available in English, this unrivaled example of Panofsky's early method places him within broader developments in theories of knowledge and cultural change. Here, drawing on a massive body of learning that ranges over Antique philosophy, theology, science, and optics as well as the history of art, Panofsky produces a type of "archeology" of Western representation that far surpasses the usual scope of art historical studies. Perspective in Panofsky's hands becomes a central component of a Western "will to form, " the expression of a schema linking the social, cognitive, psychological, and especially technical practices of a given culture into harmonious and integrated wholes. He demonstrates how the perceptual schema of each historical culture or epoch is unique and how each gives rise to a different but equally full vision of the world. Panofsky articulates these distinct spatial systems, explicating their particular coherence and compatibility with the modes of knowledge, belief, and exchange that characterized the cultures in which they arose. Our ownmodernity, Panofsky shows, is inseparable from its peculiarly mathematical expression of the concept of the infinite, within a space that is both continuous and homogenous.
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Read information about the authorErwin Panofsky was a German art historian, whose academic career was pursued almost entirely in the U.S. after the rise of the Nazi regime. In 1935, while teaching concurrently at New York University and Princeton University (something he continued to do his entire career), he was invited to join the faculty of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. From 1947 to 1948 Panofsky was the Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard University.
Panofsky's work remains highly influential in the modern academic study of iconography. Many of his works remain in print, including Studies in Iconology: Humanist Themes in the Art of the Renaissance (1939), and his eponymous 1943 study of Albrecht Dürer. His work has greatly influenced the theory of taste developed by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, in books such as The Rules of Art or Distinction. In particular, Bourdieu first adapted his notion of habitus from Panofsky's Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism.
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