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The Power of Images

Studies in the History and Theory of Response

"This learned and heavy volume should be placed on the shelves of every art historical library."—E. H. Gombrich, New York Review of Books

"This is an engaged and passionate work by a writer with powerful convictions about art, images, aesthetics, the art establishment, and especially the discipline of art history. It is animated by an extraordinary erudition."—Arthur C. Danto, The Art Bulletin

"Freedberg’s ethnographic and historical range is simply stunning. . . . The Power of Images is an extraordinary critical achievement, exhilarating in its polemic against aesthetic orthodoxy, endlessly fascinating in its details. . . . This is a powerful, disturbing book."—T. J. Jackson Lears, Wilson Quarterly

"Freedberg helps us to see that one cannot do justice to the images of art unless one recognizes in them the entire range of human responses, from the lowly impulses prevailing in popular imagery to their refinement in the great visions of the ages."—Rudolf Arnheim, Times Literary Supplement

560 pages | 190 halftones | 6-5/8 x 9-3/8 | © 1989

Art: Art Criticism, Art--General Studies

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. The Power of Images: Response and Repression
2. The God in the Image
3. The Value of the Commonplace
4. The Myth of Aniconism
5. Consecration: Making Images Work
6. Image and Pilgrimage
7. The Votive Image: Invoking Favor and Giving Thanks
8. Invisibilia per visibilia: Meditation and the Uses of Theory
9. Verisimilitude and Resemblance: From Sacred Mountain to Waxworks
10. Infamy, Justice, and Witchcraft: Explanation, Sympathy, and Magic
11. Live Images: The Worth of Visions and Tales
12. Arousal by Image
13. The Senses and Censorship
14. Idolatry and Iconoclasm
15. Representation and Reality


Association of American Publishers: PROSE Book Award

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