Erwin Panofsky

  • Three Essays on Style

    Three Essays on Style

    Irving Lavin and Erwin Panofsky

    Originally written as lectures for general audiences, these three essays are composed in a lively, informal manner, and are full of charm and wit.

    Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) was one of the preeminent art historians of the twentieth century. A new translation of his seminal work, Perspective as Symbolic Form, was recently published by Zone Books; now three remarkable essays, one previously unpublished, place Panofsky's genius in a different perspective: What Is Baroque?, Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures, and The Ideological Antecedents of the Rolls-Royce Radiator. The essays are framed by an introduction by Irving Lavin, Panofsky's successor as Professor of Art History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, discussing the context of the essays' composition and their signficance within Panofsky's oeuvre, and an insightful memoir by Panofsky's former student, close friend, and fellow emigré, William Heckscher.All three essays reveal unexpected aspects of Panofsky's sensibility, both personal and intellectual. Originally written as lectures for general audiences, they are composed in a lively, informal manner, and are full of charm and wit. The studies concern broadly defined problems of style in art—the visual symptoms endemic to works of a certain period (Baroque), medium (film), or national identity (England)—as opposed to the focus on iconography and subject matter usually associated with Panofsky's "method." The essay on Baroque, which Lavin considers "vintage Panofsky" and which appears here for the first time, and the one on film were written in 1934. The Rolls-Royce piece was written in 1962.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $22.00 £17.99
  • Perspective as Symbolic Form

    Perspective as Symbolic Form

    Erwin Panofsky

    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, it is an unrivaled example of Panofsky's early method that placed 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 "archaeology" 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. Yet the perceptual schema of each historical culture or epoch is different, and each gives rise to a different but equally full vision of the world. Panofsky articulates these different spatial systems, demonstrating their particular coherence and compatibility with the modes of knowledge, belief, and exchange that characterized the cultures in which they arose. Our own modernity, Panofsky shows, is characterized by its peculiarly mathematical expression of the concept of the infinite, within a space that is necessarily both continuous and homogeneous.

    • Hardcover $34.95 £28.00
    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00