Past Looking: Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of the Image by Michael Ann HollyPast Looking: Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of the Image by Michael Ann Holly

Past Looking: Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of the Image

byMichael Ann Holly

Paperback | September 12, 1996

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Michael Ann Holly asserts that historical interpretation of the pictorial arts is always the intellectual product of a dynamic exchange between past and present. recent theory emphasizes the subjectivity of the historian and the ways in which any interpretation betrays the presence of an interpreter. In Past Looking, she challenges that view, arguing that historical objects of representational art are actively engaged in prefiguring the kinds of histories that can be written about them. Holly directs her attention to early modern works of visual art and their rhetorical roles in legislating the kind of tales told bout them by a few classic cultural commentaries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Burckhardt's synchronic vision of the Italian Renaissance, Wölfflin's exemplification of the Baroque, Schapiro's and Freud's dispute over the meanings of Leonardo's art, and Panofsky's exegesis of the disguised symbolism of Northern Renaissance painting.

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Title:Past Looking: Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of the ImageFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.25 inPublished:September 12, 1996Publisher:Cornell University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801483026

ISBN - 13:9780801483028

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Michael Ann Holly asserts that historical interpretation of the pictorial arts is always the intellectual product of a dynamic exchange between past and present. Recent theory emphasizes the subjectivity of the historian and the ways in which any interpretation betrays the presence of an interpreter.

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"A strangely moving book to read. . . . Surely our desire to experience a kind of privileged timelessness before images—or our satisfaction with signification of any kind—has something to do with the consciousness of our own historicity; surely the challenge of art history, the challenge posed by the deep fascination of old art—or those faces from the past, so similar to our own, yet not our own—is like an encounter with the uncanny, with that otherness in which we discern our own end. A critical art history—like philosophy, like psychoanalysis—ought to take implications of that encounter seriously."—Robert Williams, Oxford Art Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1998