Logo

8632 - The Legacy of Henri Focillon and George Kubler

While it may be difficult, if not impossible, to adequately cover in a brief pre-sentation the vast horizons that Henri Focillon and George Kubler opened for

 

the discipline of art history (and other disciplines as well) through their seminal theoretical works, Vie des formes (1934) and The Shape of Time (1962), respectively, this paper reexamines some of their main contributions that formed and shaped a tradition of research and exploration that remains valid to this day.

 

Foremost in the minds of Focillon, the teacher, and Kubler, his student, was the

 

concept of style and the representation of historical time. Indeed, just as the career

 

of Kubler emerged from the instruction and inspiration of Focillon, so too, his book

 

The Shape of Time emerged as a response to questions raised in his mentor’s writing. Without a doubt, both were trailblazing efforts, surveying a new world

 

of endeavor which opened new frontiers for exploration. Focillon’s work began

 

the path giving it direction and goals; Kubler, in turn, expanded, refined and

 

advanced to new vantage points. With sharper focus and greater lucidity,

 

Kubler was able to do this by addressing several critical issues in opposition

 

to entrenched practices in art history, such as the need to bring together again

 

the history of science and the history of art; the unnecessary severing of meaning

 

from form in the conflict between iconologists and morphologists; and the static

 

nature of the concept of style as a means of classification. To be sure, neither

 

Focillon nor Kubler pretended to have completed the map they were charting,

 

but they both opened new horizons for future generations of fellow explorers.

Palavras-chaves: Historiography of art history, History and theory of art and architecture

Autores: Rodríguez-Camilloni, Humberto (Other / Andere)

atrás

University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575