The Transhistorical Image

The Transhistorical Image : Philosophizing Art and its History

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Why are visual artworks experienced as having intrinsic significance or normative depth? Why are some works of art better able to manifest this significance than others? In this 2002 book Paul Crowther argues that we can answer these questions only if we have a full analytic definition of visual art. Crowther's approach focuses on the pictorial image, broadly construed to include abstract work and recent conceptually-based idioms. The significance of art depends, however, essentially on the transhistorical nature of the pictorial image, the way in which its illuminative power is extended through historical transformation of the relevant artistic medium. Crowther argues against fashionable forms of cultural relativism, while at the same time showing why it is important that an appreciation of the history of art is integral to aesthetic judgment.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 218 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 330g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1107410452
  • 9781107410459
  • 1,539,712

Table of contents

Introduction; Part I: 1. Formalism, art history and effective historical differences; 2. More than ornament: Riegl and the problem of style; 3. The objective significance of perspective: Panofsky with Cassirer; Part II: 4. The fundamental categories of art history; Part III: 5. The abstract image: a theory of non-figurative art; 6. The containment of memory: Duchamp, Fahrenholz and the Box; Conclusion: Conceptual art, even ... (fundamental categories thereof); Appendix. The logical basis of pictorial representation.
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Review quote

"[A]n impressive case." Philosophy in Review
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