Thursday, December 6, 2007

Baroque: annotated bibliography 1.


Argan, Giulio Carlo

1984 Storia dell'arte come storia della citta (Art History as the History of the City) Roma: Editori Riuniti.

The History of Art is the History of the City also in the sense of the foundational nature of the art work which as work elaborates the dialectical distance between man and nature and between past and present (and future). The City itself is a work of art (Mumford), it is the constructed life-world of the bourgeois class, the specific habitat or "natural environment" of the social class that has produced the present day civilization (a civilization presently marked by a crisis of urban life and urban structures). The art work mediates history as it mediates nature, both within and out, organizing the internal space of the subject as it organizes the external space of social life (Architecture). Art is historical in the sense that it mediates past and present, past by present, past against present and vice-versa. It incarnates, so to speak, the human reality of time in its creative and destructive aspects. As the artists of the Renaissance understood, art makes present what it was and therefore organizes the substance of human finitude, it recovers the effort of the past, the effort of living, to liberate the present of its own restrictions. This impulse of liberation is at work in the Baroque. In this sense, to the Baroque artists the Classic is not anymore to be considered as a norm, a kind of restrictive model, but as a source of imaginary energies. Chapter 10 examines the work of Bernini in its relation to Rome.

Bazin, Germain

1968- The Baroque- Principles, Styles, Modes, Themes. Transl. by Pat Wardroper. Greenwich (CT): New York Graphic Society.

A "work of synthesis" ,according to the author, that examines the Baroque as an epoch style reflecting a given life-world, international in scale (including the "marginal" areas of Eastern Europe and Latin-America) and extending itself in its final phase into the 18th Century. To Bazin, Classicism and Baroque are not to be treated simply as opposed forms, instead they constitute two (contradictory) aspects of one process: the process of the "disruption of the unity of the civilized world which occurred at the time of the Renaissance."

Hauser, Arnold

The Social History of Art. Vol Two: Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque.Transl. by Stanley Godman in collaboration with the author.New York: Vintage Books.

A classical work that made its impact in the 1950s in Britain where it was first published and later in America. It can still be read with profit for the breadth of its macro-historical analysis only partially inspired by historical materialism.

Hazard, Paul

1964(1935)- The European Mind 1680-1715. Transl. by J. Lewis May.

A celebrated book in its time, whose original French title spoke of "The Crisis of the European Mind", focusing on the transition from the 17th to the 18th Century, from French Classicism to the Enlightenment and the beginnings of a Romantic world-view. A work in the tradition of "intellectual history", examining mostly French and British authors.

Levi-Strauss, Claude

1997 (1993) Look, Listen, Read. Transl. by C.J. Singer, New York: Basic Books.

A rhapsodic meditation on Art (Painting, Music, Literature) and Structuralism by the father of Structural Anthropology. The first part examines the paintings of Poussin.

Parker, Geoffrey and Smith, Lesley M., editors

1978- The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

According to the editors, the antecedents of the "General Crisis of the 17th Century Theory" are to be found not only in Hazard's book (above) or more recently in Eric Hobsbawm's 1954 article "The crisis of the seventeenth century", but also in the works of contemporaries such as Hobbes, in the reflections of Voltaire and others lesser known accounts. The volume examines the European 17th Century in its historical, political and economic aspects.

Rabb, Theodore K.

1975 - The Struggle for Stability in Early Modern Europe.New York : Oxford University Press.

The book examines the context and (briefly) the works (pro and against) related to the debate on "17th Century Crisis Theory", in order to propose a new interpretation focusing on the crisis of Authority, its definition, legitimation, uses and processes, as the crucial point in clarifying the specific nature of the 17th Century crisis. The author discusses the reflections of the crisis in the arts, culture and social life.


Reijen, Willem van

1992. Labyrinth and Ruin :The Return of the Baroque in Postmodernity. Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 9, 1-26

An examination of the relations of the Baroque and the Post-Modern via the works of Walter Benjamin. The Baroque insight on the transitoriness of all the things human results in the experience of melancholy whose artistic form is given by allegory. Benjamin's examination of the 19th Century, according to van Reijen, discloses the works of allegory in art and articulates it to the Baroque experience of life as conflict, division, incompleteness.|The developed form of the commodity fetish at the basis of aesthetic experience in the 19th Century (Baudelaire) is related to the Baroque world-view, which articulates the 17th Century's experience of the beginnings of the expansion and structuring of modern capitalist civilization.

Marcelo Lima

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