The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art

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9780226449975: The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art

In this groundbreaking and elegantly written study, Joseph Koerner establishes the character of Renaissance art in Germany. Opening up new modes of inquiry for historians of art and early modern Europe, Koerner examines how artists such as Albrecht Durer and Hans Baldung Grien reflected in their masterworks the changing status of the self in sixteenth-century Germany.

"[A] dazzling book. . . . He has turned out one of the most powerful, as well as one of the most ambitious, art-historical works of the last decade." — Anthony Grafton, New Republic

"Rich and splendid. . . . Joseph Koerner's book is a dazzling display of scholarship, enfolding Durer's artistic achievement within the broader issues of self and salvation, and like [Durer's] great Self-
Portrait it holds up a mirror to the modern fable of identity." — Bruce Boucher, The Times

"Remarkable and densely argued." — Marcia Pointon, British Journal of Aesthetics

"Herculean and brilliant. . . . Will echo in fields beyond the Sixteenth-Century and Art History." — Larry Silver, Sixteenth Century Journal

"May be the most ambitious of recent American reflections on the mysteries of German art. His elegantly written book deals with the fateful period in the history of German art when it reached its highest point. . . . Offers deeper and more disturbing insights into German Renaissance art than most earlier scholarship." — Willibald Sauerlander, New York Review of Books

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From the Back Cover:

The self-portrait has become a model of what art is: the artwork is the image of its maker, and understanding the work means recovering from it an original vision of the artist. In this ground-breaking work, Joseph Leo Koerner analyzes the historical origin of this model in the art of Albrecht Durer and Hans Baldung Grien, the first modern self-portraitist and his principal disciple. By doing so, he develops new approaches to the visual image and to its history in early modern European culture. Koerner establishes the character of German Renaissance art by considering how Durer's and Baldung's pictures register changes in the status of the self during the sixteenth century. He contends that Durer's self-portrait of 1500, modeled after icons of Christ, reinvented art for new conditions of piety, labor, patronage, and self-understanding at the eve of the Reformation. So foundational is this invention to modern aesthetics, Koerner argues, that interpreting it takes us to the limits of traditional art-historical method. Self-portraiture becomes legible less through a history leading up to it, or through a sum of contexts that occasion it, than through its historical sight-line to the present. After a thorough examination of Durer's startlingly new self-portraits, the author turns to the work of Baldung, Durer's most gifted pupil, and demonstrates how the apprentice willfully disfigured Durer's vision. Baldung replaced the master's self-portraits with some of the most obscene and bizarre pictures in the history of art. In images of nude witches, animated cadavers, and copulating horses, Baldung portrays the debased self of the viewer as the true subject of art. The Moment of Self-Portraiturethus unfolds as passages from teacher to student, artist to viewer, reception, all within a culture that at once deified and abhorred originality. Koerner writes a new, philosophical art history in which the visual image is both document of history and living vehicle of thought. He demonstrates the extent to which novel ideas about self and interpretation invented by Renaissance artists and Reformation thinkers informed modern hermeneutics and helped to found our deepest assumptions about art and its messages.

About the Author:

Joseph Leo Koerneris the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. His books include The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art and TheReformation of the Image, copublished by Reaktion Books and the University of Chicago Press. In 1995 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Koerner, Joseph Leo
Editore: University Of Chicago Press (1993)
ISBN 10: 0226449971 ISBN 13: 9780226449975
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Descrizione libro University Of Chicago Press, 1993. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110226449971

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Joseph Leo Koerner
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Descrizione libro University Of Chicago Press, 1993. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 226449971

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Joseph Leo Koerner
Editore: University Of Chicago Press (1993)
ISBN 10: 0226449971 ISBN 13: 9780226449975
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Descrizione libro University Of Chicago Press, 1993. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0226449971

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