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Aby Warburg. Une biographie intellectuelle

Ernst Gombrich

He was a major deity in art history, but in the long run is hardly known. Aby Warburg (1866-1929), the heir of Jewish ship-owners from Hamburg, decided to dedicate his life to knowledge, and through an almost biblical agreement his brothers financed him throughout his life. After Emile Mâle, he re-founded iconology, accumulated a senseless amount of knowledge and images which he tried to classify through selective affinities, something like an atlas of the creation. In passing he demonstrated that the major artists were those who, like Rembrandt, succeed in pulling away from the burden of tradition. He was marked by psychic troubles revealed during a stay with the Navajos, a lover of the Italian Renaissance, a fine connoisseur of astrology, his greatest work is actually his library. It was first housed in his apartment in Hamburg, then immigrated to London during the rise of the Nazis and would give birth to the famous Warburg Institute. This biography is written by one of its most famous directors and until now had not been published in French.

Aby Warburg. Une biographie intellectuelle, by Ernst Gombrich, translated and presented by Lucien d’Azay, Klincksieck, 2015, 500p., €33.

Aby Warburg. Une biographie intellectuelle - Ernst Gombrich

Review published in the newsletter #391 - from 4 June 2015 to 10 June 2015

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