Artibus et Historiae no. 2 (I)1980, ISSN 0391-9064
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PAUL BAROLSKY - Sydney J. Freedberg, Historian and Critic: An Appreciation
Sydney Freedberg is generally recognized as one of the most distinguished art historians of his generation. Some preliminary observations are here made concerning the significance of his achievement. His work is by implication a devastating critique of those "art histories" which talk about politics, society, religion, philosophy, poetry, theology, psychology, economics, unwittingly forgetting art itself, ignoring its value. In an age when art history has often descended to pedantry, treating art as a commodity, Freedberg's work serves as a beacon to those "amateurs" still committed to the beauty, dignity, and moral force of art.