BILDERFAHRZEUGE Blog

Die Welt spiegeln. Rudolf Bernoulli, Fritz Saxl und eine Sammlung kosmologischer Bilder

Am 11. Januar 1929 schreibt Fritz Saxl an den Schweizer Kunsthistoriker Rudolf Bernoulli, Konservator der graphischen Sammlung der ETH in Zürich: Es „ist doch wirklich sehr schade, dass der Weltspiegel nicht mehr die Welt weiter zu spiegeln beabsichtigt.” Kurz zuvor hatte Bernoulli ihm die Einstellung einer Serie von Vignetten historischer Kosmosbilder angekündigt, die er ab 1921 wöchentlich im Weltspiegel publiziert hatte. Er bot auch an, der K.B.W. etwaige Nummern, die noch fehlten, nachzusenden. So finden sich in der Bibliothek des Warburg Institute heute sämtliche Exemplare des Weltspiegels von 1921 bis 1929 als gebundene Sammlung.

Hero Recast as Human: Transformation of Rustam in the Shāhnāmā

Through the centuries, Persian classical tales have regaled audiences with stories narrating the lives and emotions of diverse human actors, including heroes and anti-heroes, transmitted orally as well as copied into manuscripts containing illustrations. One of the most-loved heroes of Persian classical literature is the legendary Rustam, the fiery and brave military commander and king-maker from Sistan.

Bewegtes Beiwerk, Nachleben, and shi 勢 (energy)

The revival of certain elements such as bewegtes Beiwerk was certainly due to the “period of discovery” that Botticelli witnessed in the early Renaissance. In this period, the circulation and migration of human beings, artworks, and knowledge started to become a part of daily life. Something similar, one might add, occurred in the sixteenth century; at this time, the Portuguese merchants and, shortly after, the Jesuits arrived in China. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, new painting techniques, innovative compositions, new types of subject matter and renewed philosophical and scientific interests and thoughts emerged.

The Planetary Experiment

Orit Halpern

(Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University, Montreal)


Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 5:30 pm

Online Lecture, hosted by the Warburg Institute.
Free and open to all via Zoom; please book in advance via the Warburg Institute website.

Allan Ramsay at the National Galleries of Scotland

For the scholar, it is unsurprising to learn of two 18th century portraits, originally conceived as a pair, which nevertheless became separated, ending up over the generations in different collections. Such is the fate of many paintings, especially those on canvas, which is a two-dimensional pictorial support whose very persistence through the centuries is tied to its mobility. Combined with the durability of oil paint itself, the portability of canvas is part of what makes oil paintings desirable, valuable, even, one might speculate, so entrenched in Western culture.

Event: Conference “Spontaneität. Unmittelbarkeit, Schnelligkeit, Authentizität in westlicher und ostasiatischer Kunst”

Organisiert von Yannis Hadjinicolaou und Monika Wagner

Hamburg, Warburg-Haus, 19.-20. November 2021

Ziel der Tagung ist es zum einen, die Vorstellungshorizonte und Bewertungen, die mit künstlerischer Spontaneität verbunden wurden und werden, über eine Rekonstruktion der jeweiligen Werkprozesse auszuloten und auf diese Weise Spontaneitätsmythen zu begegnen. Zum anderen gilt es, die Bedeutungen und Funktionen solcher Herstellungsverfahren, seien sie künstlerischer, ideologischer oder historiographischer Art, zu analysieren und historisch zu kontextualisieren.

Baby Pictor?

We have all experienced this situation with our smartphone: While opening the photo gallery or the camera, a photograph pops up that is not familiar to us. It may be blurred, or showing a strange detail from a peculiar angle: a pavement, a staircase – if the respective image is recognizable at all. But it can also be totally black, more like an Ad Reinhardt. The more frequently we are confronted with such images (even every day, depending on the time we spend on those devices), it becomes clear that the photographer could be the apparatus itself.

Online event: Aby Warburg und die US-Amerikanische Anthropologie

27th October 2021, 19:00 (CEST)


An online lecture (hosted by MARKK, Museum am Rothenbaum – Kulturen und Künste der Welt) by our Bilderfahrzeuge Research Associate Matthew Vollgraff as part of the events surrounding the exhibition “Aby Warburg. Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. Das Original” at Sammlung Falckenberg / Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

More information and link to Zoom on the
MARKK website.

“Modern Art Sometimes Gives Rise To…”

An article which appeared on Saturday 13 January 1962 in the Lebanese cultural newspaper L’Orient Littéraire , co-authored by the Syrians Chérif Khaznadar (1940 –), a poet and art critic, and the painter Louay Kayyali (1934 – 1978), presents us with a visual and logical conundrum. In the lead to the article, Khaznadar and Kayyali reported a thrilling artistic discovery they had made in Damascus: in the dark and cluttered shop of a merchant in the Bab al-Jabiyyah souq the two found a painting, “a marvellous specimen of ancient Damascene art”, which they were eager to study

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