THE MESSAGE OF IMAGES. STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF ART
THE MESSAGE OF IMAGES. STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF ART
Jan Białostocki

1988
222 × 290 mm. 309 pages
183 b&w illustrations
clothbound, with jacket
ISBN 3-900731-08-X

Jacket illustration: Gustav Klimt, Judith I, 1901, oil on canvas; 84 × 42, Vienna, Österreichische Galerie.
 

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This book, a collection of major essays, provides a representative survey of Jan Białostocki's (1921-1988) studies in the field of iconological research during the last two decades of his life, as well as a comprehensive approach to the interpretation of art.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jan Białostocki (1921-1988) was one of the world’s most renowned art historians. He was director of the Institute of the History of Art at the University ofWarsaw, curator of the Gallery of European Painting in the National Museum in Warsaw, member of the Polish Academy Sciences, doctor honoris causa  of the University of Groningen (among others), and member of academies and scholarly societies both in Europe and in the United States.
He continued and popularized Erwin Panofsky’s methods of iconological research, applying them especially to modern art. As a scholar of theoretical problems connected mostly with modern art, in such works as his Stil und Ikonographie (1st ed. Dresden, 1966, 2nd ed. Cologne, 1981), he was instrumental in diffusion of Panofsky’s methods in Poland and in other countries. Jan Białostocki also edited critical editions of the writings of artists (among others of Leonardo, Dürer, Poussin, Rembrandt) and of historical texts on questions relating to them (e.g. Dürer and his Critics, Baden-Baden, 1987).
He edited various anthologies of texts on art from ancient times to the 18th century. He is well-known for his papers and essays analyzing such basic concepts in the history of art as the Late Gothic, the Baroque, and the Rococo. his most significant syntheses pertain to topics like The Art of the Renaissance in Eastern Europe. Hungary – Bohemia – Poland (“The Wrightsman Lectures”, Phaidon, Oxford, 1976), and the history of art in the 15th century: Spätmittelalter und beginnende Neuzeit (in the series “Propyläen Kunstgeschichte”, vol. VII, Berlin, 1972).
He organized numerous international exhibitions, like the one on “Venetian Painting” in the National Museum in Warsaw (1968), and “The origins of Modern Landscape” (1972), in the same museum.
He was also the creator of posters and the designer of the covers of his own books.
In 1981 he celebrated his 60th birthday, and on this occasion he was presented with a “Festschrift” in his honour, entitled Ars auro prior – this title aptly characterizing Jan Białostocki’s attitude towards art. He gave the same title (translated into Polish) to his standard two-volume history of art published in several editions in Poland, which can be rightly compared with E.H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art.
The Message of Images. Studies in the History of Art, published by IRSA in the series BIBLIOTHECA ARTIBUS ET HISTORIAE, presents a wide selection of major articles by Jan Białostocki.
 

CONTENTS

PREFACE                               
ARS AURO PRIOR
THE DOOR OF DEATH.
THE SURVIVAL OF A CLASSICAL MOTIF IN SEPULCHRAL ART
BOOKS OF WISDOM AND BOOKS OF VANITY
THE RENAISSANCE CONCEPT OF NATURE AND ANTIQUITY
MODES OF REALITY AND THE REPRESENTATION OF SPACE IN MEMLINC’S
DONOR WINGS OF THE LAST JUDGMENT TRIPTYCH
THE EYE AND THE WINDOW. REALISM. AND SYMBOLISM OF LIGHT REFLECTIONS IN THE ART OF ALBRECHT DÜRER AND HIS PREDECESSORS
MAN AND MIRROR IN PAINTING: REALITY AND TRANSIENCE
THE POWER OF BEAUTY. A UTOPIAN IDEA OF LEONE BATTISTA ALBERTI
JUDITH: STORY, IMAGE, AND SYMBOL. GIORGIONE’S PAINTING IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE THEME
MYTH AND ALLEGORY IN DÜRER’S ETCHINGS AND ENGRAVINGS
PUER SUFFLANS IGNES
REFLECTIONS ON EROTICISM IN THREE RUBENS PAINTINGS
THE DOCTUS ARTIFEX AND THE LIBRARY OF THE ARTIST IN THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES
MERE IMITATION OF NATURE OR SYMBOLIC IMAGE OF THE WORLD?
PROBLEMS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF DUTCH PAINTING OF THE 17TH CENTURY
ESILIO PRIVATO: OUDRY’S PAINTING OF KING STANISŁAW LESZCZYŃSKI
ART AND POLITICS: 1770–1830
THE FIRING SQUAD FROM PAUL REVERE TO GOYA: THE FORMATION OF A NEW PICTORIAL THEME IN AMERICA, RUSSIA, AND SPAIN
THE IMAGE OF THE DEFEATED LEADER IN ROMANTIC ART
FOOTNOTES
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ORIGINAL PLACES OF PUBLICATION
INDEX