Art History and Visual Studies in Europe

Transnational Discourses and National Frameworks


Reflection on the history and practice of art history has long been a major topic of research and scholarship, and this volume builds on this tradition by offering a critical survey of many of the major developments in the contemporary discipline, such as the impact of digital technologies, the rise of visual studies or new initiatives in conservation theory and practice. Alongside these methodological issues this book addresses the mostly neglected question of the impact of national contexts on the development of the discipline. Taking a wide range of case studies, this book examines the impact of the specific national political, institutional and ideological demands on the practice of art history. The result is an account that both draws out common features and also highlights the differences and the plurality of practices that together constitute art history as a discipline.
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Biographical Note

Matthew Rampley is Professsor in the History of Art of the University of Birmingham. He has published widely on aesthetics and the historiography of art, with a particular focus on Nietzsche, Warburg, Riegl and the Vienna School of Art History, and is associate editor of the Journal of Art Historiography.

Thierry Lenain is Professor of Art Theory at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Published works include studies of forgery, monkey painting and the image in Deleuze, Foucault and Lyotard.

Hubert Locher is Professor of the History and Theory of the Image, and Director of the German Art Historical Documentation Centre of the Philipps University, Marburg. Alongside work on the Renaissance, specifically, Alberti, Raphael and Ghirlandaio, he has also written and edited numerous books on museum and exhibitionary practice, art theory and the historiography of art.

Andrea Pinotti is Professor of Philosophy at the Università degli Studi, Milan. He has written widely on German nineteenth- and twentieth-century aesthetics and its place within the historiography of art, including books on Riegl, Warburg and Walter Benjamin.

Charlotte Schoell-Glass is Professor of Art History at the University of Hamburg. A member of the editorial board of Word & Image, her research interests focus on the relation between image and text, and she has also published on Aby Warburg, including a critical edition of the Diary of the Warburg Library in Hamburg and a study of Warburg and anti-Semitism.

Kitty Zijlmans is Director of the Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines. Her main areas of research and publication have been contemporary art, the theory and methodologies of art history and world art studies as a new disciplinary paradigm.

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements, Thierry Lenain, Hubert Locher, Andrea Pinotti, Matthew Rampley, Charlotte Schoell-Glass and Kitty Zijlmans

Introduction, Matthew Rampley


Art History, Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Antonio Somaini
The Idea of the Canon and Canon Formation in Art History, Hubert Locher
European Heritage: Unity in Diversity?, Brian Graham
Contemporary Art and the Concept of Art History: Influence, Dependency and Challenge, Peter J. Schneemann
Formalism and the History of Style, Andrea Pinotti
Visual Culture and Visual Studies, Jan Baetens
Theories of the Image in France: Between Art History and Visual Anthropology, Ralph Dekoninck
Bildwissenschaft: Theories of the Image in German-language Scholarship, Matthew Rampley
Computerisation, Digitisation and the Internet, Antonella Sbrilli
Technical Art History: The Synergy of Art, Conservation and Science, Erma Hermens
Dimensions of Dialogue: Art History and the Discourse of Economics, Victor Ginsburgh and François Mairesse
Sociologies of Art: With and against Art History, Nathalie Heinich
Museums and Museologies, Dominique Poulot
Art History in a Global Frame: World Art Studies, Wilfried van Damme and Kitty Zijlmans
The Construction of National Art Histories and the ‘New’ Europe, Matthew Rampley


Cultures of Interruptions. Art History in the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Krista Kodres, Giedrė Mickūnaitė and Stella Pelše
In Search of a Synthesis: Art History in Belgium, Raphaël Pirenne
Art History in Bulgaria: Institutional Frameworks, Research Directions and Individual Scholars, Elka Bakalova
Art History in the Czech and Slovak Republics: Institutional Frameworks, Topics and Loyalties, Milena Bartlová
Art History in France: A Conflict of Traditions, Ralph Dekoninck and Joël Roucloux
Art History in the German-speaking Countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Charlotte Schoell-Glass
Art History and Visual Studies in Great Britain and Ireland, Griselda Pollock
Born of a ‘Peripheral’ Modernism: Art History in Greece and Cyprus, Areti Adamopoulou
Art History in Italy: Connoisseurship, Academic Scholarship and the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Laura Iamurri
Art History in the Netherlands: The Past and Present of the Discipline, Marga van Mechelen and Kitty Zijlmans
Art History in the Nordic Countries, Dan Karlholm, Hans Dam Christensen and Matthew Rampley
A Marginalised Tradition? Polish Art History, Wojciech Bałus
In Search of National Traditions: Art History in Romania, Corina Teacă
Art History in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, Nenad Makuljevich
Art History in Spain: A Generational History, Gonzalo M. Borrás Gualis
Art History and the Founding of the Modern Turkish State, Burcu Dogramaci

Bibliography, Dennis Janzen
List of Contributors


All those interested in art history and in modern European intellectual history.

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