Aby Warburg, ou la tentation du regard
It is not rare that heirs of important families of bankers develop a passion for the arts or music. It is a lot more rare for the other members of the family to give him or her their unwavering decade-long support. That is precisely what ismost astonishing in the biography of Aby Warburg (1866-1929), the founder of a current in art history based on a ruthless documented study and on systematic cross-referencing of sources. Warburg went from Germany to Florence -where he worked on a thesis on Botticelli - and Arizona, interrupting his travels by a number of psychiatric internments. He pursued his project of building a major history of art library. The KBW was inaugurated in 1926 in Hamburg, where his family made their fortune in la shipping and banking. It was removed just in time to London during the rise of the Nazis, and is still today a fundamental reference. This biography, based on a remarkable series of documents, tries to analyze the man’s rich and complex personality, placing him back in the network of his contemporaries (Cassirer, Berenson, Saxl).
Review published in the newsletter #353 - from 3 July 2014 to 9 July 2014