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The Hamburg cultural scientist Aby M. Warburg (–) was a pioneer of the modern study of art and visual culture. Before the First World War, he made. In December , Warburg started to compose a work in the form of a picture atlas named Mnemosyne. In Aby Warburg began his picture atlas „Mnemosyne“ – he, his method and its use in visual studies stood fairly alone. Working with photographs was by no.

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Santa Maria Novella, Florence.

Aby Warburg – Wikipedia

The compilation of pictures on the individual panels, on the other hand, can bridge centuries, if not millennia, cogently and without words.

The order of things: This makes it interesting not only for art history and visual studies, but also for artists. Slowly people became aware that Warburg must have produced one of the most fascinating archives and complex libraries ever done; and that his work in total was an unparalleled survey of collective memory and its various media.

This is the main difference between a Cultural history written by contemporary scholars like Karl Lamprecht or Georg Steinhausen and a Library for Cultural Studiessearching for the presence of a problem. But it makes no small difference whether one is talking about an atlas as a printed volume or about the more than 60 image tables that have been handed down to us by means of photography.

Aby Warburg. Mnemosyne Bilderatlas (English)

Not by chance Warburg took a look at the arts from the viewpoint of economic history, and studied the patronage of merchants and bankers. He then began his last project, the Mnemosyne atlas, which because of his sudden death remained unfinished. He chose Mnemosynethe Greek goddess of memory and mother of the muses, as the patron saint of his project.


Early on he demonstrated an unstable, unpredictable and volatile temperament.

Gombrich observed in his biography of Warburg, that the Mnemosyne project could be brought to an end. By re-reading Warburg, it was realized that every page abby his printed articles corresponds to pages of manuscript, thousands of notes and hundreds of books. Thus the iconology of interval that structures the configuration of the plates is accompanied mnemozyne a different concept of interspace as part of a theory of acting.

In former times the library consisted of 4 floors with book stacks plus the contents of the impressive, oval reading room.

Aby Warburg‘s Mnemosyne Atlas: Thinking with Pictures – Goethe-Institut

In DecemberWarburg started to compose a work in the form of a picture atlas named Mnemosyne. The works can be explained only by combining philological and visual analysis. Syndication Issue feed Document feed.

Art historical material for a developmental physiology of the pendulous movement [ Pendelgang ] between stating a cause [ Ursachensetzung ] by means of images and doing this by means of signs.

Martin Warnke, who is head of our department kindly asks you to excuse that he couldn’t come; he would have been able to deliver his talk in Portuguese.

Robert Galitz, Brita Reimers ed.

In some of the entries this endeavour reads like an epistemological shortcut between mythology and sciences, whereas other formulations render the epistemological tension and mnemosne compulsion for a scientific foundation distinguishable. The title of it as well as the description of its function was the object of long discussions between Warburg and Bing and took years to develop.

Two brothers Warburg founded the banking firm M.

The Mnemosyne Atlas

He did not want to be a rabbi, as his grandmother wished, nor a doctor or lawyer. The brothers accepted aatlas condition and so allowed Warburg to fully concentrate on his mneemosyne, to travel, to support and engage assistants and gather an impressive collection of books.


Although the young Aby refused succeeding in the family tradition and decided to study the humanities, the world of trading and the mechanisms of social exchange remained one of the threads of his methodology.

And perhaps it is just the thought of this scholar, openly and insightfully presented here, that still fascinates and inspires today. Warburg applied the concept of exchange and migration not only to different epochs; he also assumed that the various parts of Europe, the north and south, communicated with each other, and that there was no supremacy of one over the other.

But clever decipherment of a detective, in oder to impress the reader with erudition, was not his first intention, since most of the analysis had already been done by Heidelberg religion historian and orientalist Franz Boll Sphaera In this context he emphasises that the relationship between things is nothing which is just there, inherent in the nature of things, instead it is a result of the human perception — or rather the human eye and mind.

It is little wonder, then, that the atlas also knows no boundaries within art. Aby Moritz Warburg June 13, Hamburg.

Martin Warnke with the assistance of. Aby Warburg around The Renewal of Pagan Antiqutiy. Begleitmaterial zur Ausstellung “Aby M. Skip to main content.