08 February 2009

Books that actually matter

Right, so, after being cajoled by Aldous, here is my top 10 list of the most impact-full Art History books (NOT collections of essays) from the post-war period. You'll note that Panofsky's best work was actually formulated before the war and, like Schapiro, is mostly in essay form, so is doubly non-admissible according to the rules. So the former's entry here is really a product of the intellectual migrations of the 30s, not the second Vienna school. Still, good ol'ofsky deserves to be on this list, if only for his impact on others.
Martin Jay is a wildcard but probably necessary reading for those who still might believe in the explanatory power of Discipline and Punish.

1. Hans Belting, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art (1994)
2. Erwin Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art (1955)
3. David Freedberg, The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response (1991)
4. Michael Baxandall, Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (1972)
5. Meyer Schapiro, Romanesque Architectural Sculpture (1967)
6. T.J. Clark, The Absolute Bourgeois: Artists and Politics in France, 1848-1851 (1973)
7. Rosalind Kraus, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (1985)
8. Georges Didi-Huberman, Fra Angelico: Dissemblance and Figuration (1995)
9. W.J.T. Mitchell, Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology (1985)
10. Martin Jay, Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought (1994)

No comments: