Looking for Lines

Theories on the Essence of Art and the Problem of Mannerism

Paul van den Akker

Looking for Lines

Paul van den Akker

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

524 pages | 150 halftones | 6 3/10 x 9 1/2 | © 2010
Paper $71.50 ISBN: 9789089641786 Published March 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Studies of the old masters are often implicitly based on modern notions, which do not necessarily tally with ideas contemporary with the art of the time being studied. With Looking for Lines, Paul van den Akker offers a survey of the concepts and controversies of artistic value since the eighteenth century. Drawing from the writings of art historians, critics, and philosophers such as Hogarth, Comte de Caylus, Goethe, Carl Schnaase, Burckhardt, Heinrich Wölfflin, and John Shearman, and focusing particular attention to the historiography of mannerism, van den Akker traces the evolution of aesthetic judgment over the past three centuries and at the same time scrutinizes it for clues to the way we see and think about art today.



Part I

1. The History of Art Balancing Between Realism and Stylisation

2. Historiography Repeats Itself: Arguments in Favour of Studying Non-Classical Styles

3. Wölfflin’s Classic Art and His Criticism of Mannerism

4. Jacob Burckhardt and Franz Kugler: Uneasiness Towards Mannerist Art

5. The High Status of Raphael’s Paintings and of Greek Art

Part II

Introduction to Part II

6. The Eighteenth-Century State of Antique Art

7. Taste, Maniera and the History of Art

8. The History of Antique Art and the Question of Taste

9. Winckelmann on Fine Characters and Contours

Part III

Introduction to Part III

10. The Flowing Lines as the Philosopher’s Stone

11. A Changing Point of View

12. Riegl’s Theory and Its Legacy

Epilogue: Visual Order in Figurative Art



Index of names

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