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Ad vivum?

Visual Materials and the Vocabulary of Life-Likeness in Europe before 1800

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Edited by Thomas Balfe, Joanna Woodall and Claus Zittel

The term ad vivum and its cognates al vivo, au vif, nach dem Leben and naer het leven have been applied since the thirteenth century to depictions designated as from, to or after (the) life. This book explores the issues raised by this vocabulary and related terminology with reference to visual materials produced and used in Europe before 1800, including portraiture, botanical, zoological, medical and topographical images, images of novel and newly discovered phenomena, and likenesses created through direct contact with the object being depicted. The designation ad vivum was not restricted to depictions made directly after the living model, and was often used to advertise the claim of an image to be a faithful likeness or a bearer of reliable information. Viewed as an assertion of accuracy or truth, ad vivum raises a number of fundamental questions in the area of early modern epistemology – questions about the value and prestige of visual and/or physical contiguity between image and original, about the kinds of information which were thought important and dependably transmissible in material form, and about the roles of the artist in that transmission. The recent interest of historians of early modern art in how value and meaning are produced and reproduced by visual materials which do not conform to the definition of art as unique invention, and of historians of science and of art in the visualisation of knowledge, has placed the questions surrounding ad vivum at the centre of their common concerns. Contributors include: José Beltrán, Carla Benzan, Eleanor Chan, Robert Felfe, Mechthild Fend, Sachiko Kusukawa, Pieter Martens, Richard Mulholland, Noa Turel, and Daan Van Heesch
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Nathalie Kremer

En tant que spectateurs de peinture, Diderot et Baudelaire furent aussi toujours et d’abord créateurs. Ce livre montre comment leurs écrits ouvrent la voie à une approche moderne de l’art, où les œuvres sont recréées librement par l’imagination du spectateur.
Ce que nous appelons la « traversée » de la peinture consiste en une approche émotive de l’image, qui se montre sensible aux effets puissants des lignes et des couleurs, dans ce qu’elles incitent à penser ou à rêver. La critique d’art naît ainsi autant de l’adhésion empathique que du détachement du regard à l’œuvre contemplée.
Le lecteur découvrira ici alors la façon dont Diderot et Baudelaire ont traversé la peinture de leur temps pour donner à lire de nouvelles images, inépuisables, à rêver, méditer et savourer en tous temps.

Diderot and Baudelaire were viewers of paintings, but they were first and foremost artistic creators. This book shows how their writings open the way to a modern conception of art, where the works of art are freely recreated in the imagination of the viewer.
What we can call ‘traversing the painting’ consists of an emotional approach to the image, an approach which is sensitive to the powerful effects of line and colour, and the thoughts and dreams that they inspire. Art criticism thus springs as much from empathetic engagement with the artwork as it does from detachment from it.
The reader of this book will discover the way in which Diderot and Baudelaire traversed the painting of their times, proposed new, timeless and inexhaustible visions to meditate on and marvel at.
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Nathalie Kremer

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Nathalie Kremer

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Nathalie Kremer

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Mikhail Lifshitz

Mikhail Lifshitz is a major forgotten figure in the tradition of Marxist philosophy and art history. A significant influence on Lukács, and the dedicatee of his The Young Hegel, as well as an unsurpassed scholar of Marx and Engels’s writings on art and a lifelong controversialist, Lifshitz’s work dealt with topics as various as the philosophy of Marx and the pop aesthetics of Andy Warhol. The Crisis of Ugliness (originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, 1968), published here in English for the first time, and with a detailed introduction by its translator David Riff, is a compact broadside against modernism in the visual arts that nevertheless resists the dogmatic complacencies of Stalinist aesthetics. Its reentry into English debates on the history of Soviet aesthetics promises to re-orient our sense of the basic coordinates of a Marxist art theory.
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Art and Science in Word and Image

Exploration and Discovery

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Edited by Keith Williams, Sophie Aymes, Jan Baetens and Chris Murray

Art and Science in Word and Image investigates the theme of ‘riddles of form’, exploring how discovery and innovation have functioned inter-dependently between art, literature and the sciences.

Using the impact of evolutionary biologist D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form on Modernist practices as springboard into the theme, contributors consider engagements with mysteries of natural form in painting, photography, fiction, etc., as well as theories about cosmic forces, and other fields of knowledge and enquiry. Hence the collection also deals with topics including cultural inscriptions of gardens and landscapes, deconstructions of received history through word and image artworks and texts, experiments in poetic materiality, graphic re-mediations of classic fiction, and textual transactions with animation and photography.

Contributors are: Dina Aleshina, Márcia Arbex, Donna T. Canada Smith, Calum Colvin, Francis Edeline, Philippe Enrico, Étienne Février, Madeline B. Gangnes, Eric T. Haskell, Christina Ionescu, Tim Isherwood, Matthew Jarron, Philippe Kaenel, Judy Kendall, Catherine Lanone, Kristen Nassif, Solange Ribeiro de Oliveira, Eric Robertson, Frances Robertson, Cathy Roche-Liger, David Skilton, Melanie Stengele, Barry Sullivan, Alice Tarbuck, Frederik Van Dam.

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Mikhail Lifshitz

Translator David Riff