Essay: “Warburg on epidemics”

Detail from Benozzo Gozzoli’s Journey of the Magi fresco (1459) Palazzo Medici-Ricardi, Florence. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

 The cholera epidemic in Hamburg almost 130 years ago inspired Aby Warburg’s first ever published text. Turning to 15th century Florence, it tells the story of the matriarch of the Strozzi family who lost her husband and four of her children to illness. In an essay for ‘Mnemosyne. The Warburg Institute Blog’, Steffen Haug and Johannes von Müller discuss this early attempt by Warburg to respond by the means of historical comparison to a crisis of his time that was indeed a health crisis.


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