Artibus et Historiae no. 22 (XI)

1990, ISSN 0391-9064

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FRANCO BERNABEI - Jan Białostocki, Formalism, and Iconology

An examination of the cultural landscape preceding the official birth of iconology provides a rich and varied picture in which diverse critical tendencies merge and diverge. Even today, the exchange of ideas during this period can provide useful insights to help clarify the discussion of critical theory.

The work of Jan Białostocki, which reflects the Polish scholar's open-mindedness, breadth of interests, and attention to the necessity of reconsidering perspectives in terms of contemporary art, offers an interpretation of iconology in which the contradictions between iconology and formalism, as developed by Panofsky, are absent. Moreover, Białostocki's interpretation of iconology furnishes an opportunity to consider several themes of the iconographic method in relation to formal problems, without confusion and freed from extraneous polemics.

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