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Hans Belting

Bild und Kult: eine Geschichte des Bildes


vor dem Zeitalter der Kunst, 1990

jeffrey hamburger

Bild und Kult has had an enormous impact since its publication
Ha n s B e lt i n g s
in German in 1990 and its translation into English under the title Likeness and
Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art (1994). The purpose of this
article is to give some account of its influence and, in particular, to discuss its con-
nection to Beltings subsequent work, much of it on modern and contemporary
art. At first glance, this might seem to represent an abrupt departure from the
history of the cult image that is Bild und Kults focus. The books scope, however,
is far broader than even its vast chronological span from Late Antiquity through
the Reformation initially implies.
After an introduction that makes an effective argument for an interdiscipli-
nary approach adequate to the deeper levels of experience that images probe,
Belting systematically sets about his task of adopt[ing] a historical mode of
argumentation that traces them back to the context in which they historically
played their part (p.3). Drawing on the testimony of legends of supernatural
origins, visions and miracles, Belting succinctly defines what he regards as his
central challenge: if we remain within the millennium with which this book is
concerned, we are everywhere obstructed by written texts, for Christianity is a
religion of the word. If we step outside this millennium into the modern period,
we find art in our way, a new function that fundamentally transformed the old
image [. . .] Art history therefore simply declared everything to be art in order
Hans Belting photographed by Felix Gruenschloss, shortly before a lecture
to bring everything within its domain, thereby effacing the very difference that
at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 20th January 2009. might have thrown light on our subject (p.9). Seeking to overcome the barriers
204 hans belting Bild und Kult 205

represented by Art with a capital A, Belting tells the story of the image from the
earliest icons that survive at Sinai and Rome through the development of the
altarpiece in late medieval Italy.
Today, twenty years after its publication, it is difficult to convey the refreshing
shock Beltings book conveyed to a young art historian eager to think in terms
of the function, not simply the attribution, dating and iconography, of medieval
images. More compelling, however, than the books grandiose historical panorama
and its sheer range of reference is its wealth of ideas, governed by a clear storyline,
namely, the origins and transformation of the cult image in its passage from East to
West across one-and-a-half millennia, and a still clearer perhaps too clean-cut
conceptual structure, neatly summarised by the works subtitle. Art, image, cult: all
three terms demand definition and invite disputation, especially when deployed
across such a broad canvas, all the more so given that the German word Bild is rich
in connotations in ways that its English equivalent is not. In Beltings later work,
the difference, in German, between image and picture has permitted him to
emphasise the notion that a picture is a medium that permits the image to acquire
a presence tantamount to that of the body. Art history thus becomes a history of
media as well as of the body, aspects that come into sharper focus in Beltings more
recent book, not yet translated into English, Das Echte Bild (2005).1
Bild und Kults more immediate aim was to recast the relationship between
the art of Byzantium and the West, a touchstone topic for early modern as well
as medieval art. Indeed, one of the accomplishments of Beltings book, for which
all medievalists ought to be grateful, is that it came as a clarion call to modernists
that modernity, however defined, can only be understood against the foil, not just
of Antiquity, but also of all that intervened. Focusing on the interrelationship of
function and pictorial rhetoric, Belting helped tip the balance in discussions of
medieval art (and beyond) from issues of production to conditions of reception.
As part of this process, Belting, with others, redrew the art-historical topography
of the Mediterranean, charting cross-currents stirred up by cultural exchange,
colonisation and the Crusades. Still more important, he recast the origins of the
independent easel painting, the canonical vehicle of modern art.
Front cover to Hans Belting, Bild und Kult: eine Geschichte des Bildes vor dem Zeitalter der Kunst, 1990.
Beltings book crystallises a turning point, for himself and for the history
of art. Before considering its impact, however, one must consider its geneal-
ogy, adumbrated by Belting himself in his review of Otto Demuss Byzantine
Art and the West (1970).2 Remarking that new methods, other than those ana-
lyzing stylistic forms, are needed to clarify these manifold connections, Belting
nonetheless observed that Demus was devising a kind of program for future
206 hans belting Bild und Kult 207

research. Belting then quoted his fellow Byzantinist: Had it not been for the the image, one that in Beltings self-proclaimed anthropology of the image
transformation of Hellenistic panel painting into Byzantine icon painting and (Bild-Anthropologie) itself part of a broader turn towards anthropology in the
the transfer of this art form to the West, the chief vehicle of Western pictorial Humanities, above all in Germany aspires to a level of generality that transcends
development would not have existed or would have come into existence a good time, place and, in many respects, the particularities of culture.3 In its insistence on
deal later [. . .] Of course, the Byzantine models were, from the very beginning, the image as a substitute for the body and on both the body and the physical image
not only subjected to a thorough transformation, but also adapted to serve the as entities onto which imagined images can be impressed or projected, Beltings
specifically Italian requirements for altar panels and a new kind of devotional anthropology of the image finds notable analogies in the historical anthropology
image. As if defining his plan, first for Das Bild und sein Publikum: Form und of Jean-Claude Schmitt. Schmitts landmark article, La Culture de limago (1996),
Funktion frher Bildtafeln der Passion (1981), which focused on the reception and like Beltings more recent work, insists on a continuum among material and
transformation of the image of the Man of Sorrows in the late medieval West, immaterial images, extending from concrete embodiments to the imagination
then for Bild und Kult, Belting added: It is precisely this process of adapting and and, ultimately, the imago dei as the governing concept in medieval characteri-
transforming Byzantine models on which research will have to concentrate. sations of what it means to be human.4 In their philosophical bent, French and
Were medievalists to come cold to Beltings most recent work, which has German historical anthropology differ quite strongly from their Anglo-American
focused on modern and contemporary art, they might, in addition to being counterpart, which tends in turn to be more sociological in character.
impressed by the extraordinary scope and reach of his scholarship, be amazed to If Bild und Kult focused on the image before art, Beltings subsequent work
learn that the first half of his career was spent as one of the most distinguished has come to rest on what he sees as avatars of the medieval image in the present.
Byzantinists of his or any other generation. Just as Bild und Kult divides the In this scheme of things, medieval art (cast by Vasari as an egregious excep-
history of European art into two distinct phases, so too, Beltings career can be tion to the right rules of representation that governed in Antiquity and that were
viewed as falling into two parts. In each case, however, the second phase is inex- laboriously recovered, then surpassed, in the Renaissance), proves instead to rep-
tricably linked to the first. Far more than a synthesis of his own contributions to resent a more universal ontology of the image. In this view, the image, striving
the study of Byzantine art and its reception in the Latin West, Beltings book also for reunification with the body for which it stands, remains free to act unen-
stands as his envoi to art history itself. It is as if in finishing with the subject for cumbered by theology or, in Beltings view, its modern equivalent, art-historical
himself, Belting invited his colleagues to join in saying goodbye to all that. Das theory. The Middle Ages, rather than representing the great exception to the rule,
Ende der Kunstgeschichte? (1983) questioned precisely the kind of grand nar- instead defines a norm that itself undergoes a renaissance of sorts in the present.
rative that he would present in Bild und Kult, even as that book provided the To this extent, Beltings understanding of the exceptional character of Western
cornerstone of a series of subsequent publications that, taken as a whole, chart art shares a great deal with the views of E. H. Gombrich, although by contrast the
an arc that is Hegelian in its dimensions. With the revised republication of Das value that Belting places on the art of the Renaissance until the fall of the ancien
Ende der Kunstgeschichte (1995), the removal of the question mark converted regime is almost entirely negative.
Beltings query into statement of fact. Beltings attention turned subsequently Beltings conjunction of what traditionally were art-historical opposites
to a more amorphous, yet labile quantity, the image, not so much in the Middle the medieval and the modern goes a long way to explaining a trend, especially
Ages as in contemporary media. This tack in Beltings work, which insists on in Germany, that began in the 1990s, namely, the mixing of contemporary and
paired oppositions between, on the one hand, word and sign and, on the other medieval art in exhibitions and museum installations that for better (or worse)
hand, image and body, coincides with and has in part propelled the so-called instrumentalise medieval art to explore purported intersections between pre-
iconic turn. modern and post-modern modes of image making, from body and performance
To re-review Bild und Kult, therefore, is to re-examine the trajectory of the art to installation art and beyond.5 Always provocative, such comparisons also
history of art, in at least one of its arcs, over the past generation. The book set have their limits, no less than the analogies drawn by literary critics between
the stage for a still more ambitious, if problematic, recasting of the concept of deconstruction and negative theology.6 Not that moderns working on medieval
208 hans belting Bild und Kult 209

Christian art need give it any credence, but in the Middle Ages there existed a this ongoing dialogue.15 The massive dislocation (and destruction) of monuments
ground of meaning that in the meantime has fallen away. following the French Revolution and subsequent secularisations coincided with
Beltings re-evaluation of modernity in the light of the Middle Ages thus the embodiments of nostalgia represented by artistic movements such as the Pre-
becomes part of a larger set of historical narratives attempting to cope with Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Nazarenes and, more generally, the Gothic Revival.16
secularisation and, in particular, Webers concept of disenchantment, which Medieval art in turn had a profound impact on the development of modern-
looms larger than Belting acknowledges in his interpretive framework.7 The ism, not only in the work of writers such as Morris and Ruskin, but, closer to
same could be said of Walter Benjamin, in particular his classic essay on The the time of art historys emergence in Germany, in the work of authors such as
Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, first published in French Riegl and Worringer, both of whom looked to the art of Late Antiquity and the
in 1936.8 Mentioned only once in Bild und Kult (p.99), Benjamins essay defines Middle Ages for embodiments of a non-Classical aesthetic.17 Many of the found-
many of the terms of Beltings argument. Benjamins aura is not the same as ing fathers of art history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were,
Beltings cult, above all in that Benjamins concept extended to include much not coincidentally, medievalists.
of what Belting designates as art. Nonetheless, Benjamin identifies two polar One can hardly hope for medieval art to assume similar prominence in the
types of the work of art, just as Belting defines two ages, one before and one artistic developments of our own day. Nonetheless, similar interactions can be
after the work of art. With one, states Benjamin, the accent is on the cult value observed, a dialogue in which Belting, in the light of his position at the Staatliche
(Kultwert); with the other, on the exhibition value (Austellungswert) of the Hochschule fr Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, has played an influential role. Matthew
work.9 The ritualistic basis, however remote, is still recognizable as secularized Barneys exhibition Prayer Sheet with the Wound and the Nail (Schaulager, Basel,
ritual even in the most profane forms of the cult of beauty [. . .] developed during 12th June to 3rd October 2010) represented only the most recent manifestation
the Renaissance and prevailing for three centuries.10 Benjamins understanding of this phenomenon.18 The title alone evokes medieval devotional imagery, no
of medieval art, his romanticisation of the concept of aura (rooted in Riegl and, less than did Chris Burdens performance piece Trans-Fixed (1974), in which
earlier still, in Einfhlungssthetik), and his distinction between Kultwert and he (in)famously had himself nailed to a Volkswagen Beetle that emerged from
Ausstellungswert, all have come in for criticism, in particular, because the mass a garage with its engine roaring to imitate shrieks of pain.19 The nails that had
reproduction of works of art in the late Middle Ages, even if it eventually contrib- pierced Burdens hands later were installed in a reliquary-like container made
uted to the unravelling of aura in the Reformation, had, at least at first, no impact out of Plexiglas, an uncanny anticipation of the Schaulagers presentation of
on their efficacy whatsoever.11 Beltings book and, even more so, his subsequent the relics of Barneys artistic athleticism. In both works, the body of the artist
work participate in a nostalgia for immediacy and presence that has most clearly becomes a Christ-like incarnation of virtue, an inimitable true image that can
been enunciated in Hans-Ulrich Gumbrechts Production of Presence (2004), only be exhibited through a series of simulacra that are then collected like relics.
which appeals to (problematic) notions of Eucharistic presence as defined in the What the pilgrims who flock to galleries to view traces of these performances
Middle Ages.12 Medieval art was hardly as free of mediation and effects of repre- truly believe or expect is another matter. It is by no means clear that the con-
sentation as some of its champions would apparently like to believe.13 Religious temporary artist makes a convincing or charismatic hermit saint.
convictions are hardly incompatible with dare one use the word? the aesthetic Despite such experiments, it is difficult to imagine the study of medieval
cunning of much medieval art, witness its renewed appreciation in the modernity art once again assuming a seminal role in the discourse on contemporary art.
from which Belting too stringently divorces it.14 Given, moreover, the encrustations of criticism that surround and condition
The survival and study of medieval art have always been inflected by the art of both the production and reception of art today, one can hardly accept at face
the time in which it was appreciated or depreciated in turn. Moreover, medieval value Beltings repeated approximation of art history to theology both, as he
art played a seminal role in shaping the course both of modern art and modern construes them, after-the-fact attempts to constrain the power of the image. In
art history, both of which in turn constantly informed one another. Whatever one Bild und Kult, the textual sources on which Belting draws are sent packing to a
thinks of the results, Beltings work provides eloquent and effective testimony to useful appended anthology, almost as if to keep the images pure of their baleful
210 hans belting Bild und Kult 211

influence. At a distance, Beltings philippics against theology (and, to a lesser


extent, theory) participate in a larger oscillation in the valuation of discursive
versus visual experience, of which the story of the image that he tells itself forms
a part. Belting tells the story in such a way as to discount or downplay the discur-
sive character of what has come to be called visuality.20 Whether word and image,
however, remained so separate, especially in the monastic experience of what we
commonly call works of art, is very doubtful. Moreover, in the medieval West,
theologians had remarkably little to say that is of direct relevance to medieval
imagery and seldom extended their remarks beyond a small set of stereotypes. In
other contexts, their writings, far from suggesting the hostility Belting suggests,
are more indicative of a certain sovereign indifference. In contrast, on theological
matters they suggest remarkable sophistication regarding issues of representation
for example, on the relationship of the visible to the invisible, which was central
to debates over the Incarnation and, hence, of images. In the light of the sums of
money poured into patronage, their relative reticence could in most contexts be
construed as either toleration or tacit approval, as opposed to the Byzantine East,
where image theory remained central to definitions of orthodoxy.
Despite the barriers, and in no small measure due to Beltings influence, Frontispiece and title page to Hans Belting, Bild und Kult: eine Geschichte
medieval art is enjoying something of a renaissance, not least in the study of the des Bildes vor dem Zeitalter der Kunst, 1990.
Renaissance itself. The partition between the medieval and early modern suddenly
seems quite porous, a breaking down of boundaries that was initiated by histo-
rians before it was taken up in literary studies, again in the 1990s.21 In response what they call substitionality in essence, iconic modes of participation as
to Beltings definition of the Middle Ages as the era of the image before that of opposed to representation. Such complications and qualifications undercut the
art, scholars of the Italian Renaissance have begun to explore the extent to which simplicity of Beltings clear separation of epochs, but testify to the attraction and
cult images and the attitudes associated with them persisted into the modern persuasiveness of the questions that structured his inquiry.
era.22 Medievalists, in turn, have looked with a fresh eye at the ways in which Revisiting Beltings monumental book further provides an opportunity to
medieval images could be construed as aspiring to the condition of art, if by that reflect on the profound and persistent differences between art-historical schol-
word is meant, at least in part, images that cultivate and recognise their artifice, arship in the English-speaking and German-speaking worlds. These differences
suggest self-awareness on the part of their patrons and makers, and, in specifically stem in part from a dialogue des sourds, not least because ever fewer Anglo-
Christian contexts, develop various visual strategies to mark the limitations of the American scholars, let alone their students, read German with ease (to which
image when it comes to representing the invisible.23 Whereas a book such as Klaus it might be added that some German scholars, if not Belting, cultivate a prose
Krgers Das Bild als Schleier des Unsichtbaren: sthetische Illusion in der Kunst style, including English neologisms and barbarisms, that defies easy reading).24
der frhen Neuzeit (2001) traces the origins of self-reflexive strategies deep into The differences in approach, however, cannot be attributed to linguistic barri-
the Middle Ages, others, such as Christopher Woods Forgery, Replica, Fiction: ers alone, above all because several of Beltings books (if not, unfortunately, his
Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (2008) and Anachronic Renaissance monumental Die Erfindung des Gemldes: das erste Jahrhundert der niederln-
(2010, co-authored with Alexander Nagel), although deeply indebted to Belting, dischen Malerei, co-authored with Christiane Kruse, 1994) have been translated
challenge standard accounts of secularisation by insisting on referentiality and into English. Moreover, a programmatic statement of Beltings method, Image,
212 hans belting Bild und Kult 213

Medium, Body: A New Approach to Iconology, appeared, late but in earnest, in about all general claims regarding the nature of images. Such claims can be taken
2005 in Critical Inquiry.25 to underwrite a globalisation of art history at the price of an unattractive homoge-
Despite these translations, it must be said that Beltings impact on English- neity. Belting himself has contributed to this trend, partly by virtue of his laudable
language scholarship has been limited. The differences between Beltings efforts to expand the sometimes parochial purview of German art history, which,
self-proclaimed Bild-Anthropologie (Image Anthropology) and the most relevant in a further contrast to American art history, remains with notable exceptions
strands in Anglo-American scholarship can best be summed up if one compares myopically focused on the art of Europe.32
Beltings book to, on the one hand, David Freedbergs Power of Images (1989), vir- It is too early to predict whether, as an outgrowth of Beltings book on the
tually contemporaneous with Bild und Kult (1990), and, on the other hand, W. history of the image before the age of art, the history of art will give way in
J. T. Mitchells Picture Theory (1994).26 These books participate in what has vari- turn to an all-inclusive history of images. Although widely admired, Beltings
ously been called the pictorial or the iconic turn, but in different ways. Whatever Bild-Anthropologie has less often been imitated, above all in the United States,
it represents, the iconic turn points in diametrically different directions. Belting but also in Germany. Belting focuses almost obsessively on images of the body,
sees art history as akin to theology in so far as it quashes or resists the age-old whereas the cosmos of images embraces many other subjects, not all of which can
identification of images with living bodies. In contrast, Freedberg distinguishes be simply subsumed under the category of dreams or projections of the human
between the two, assigning theology a constructive role: It is not just psychol- imagination. Moreover, there are competing visions of what, in Germany, follow-
ogy that is at stake, but also the relations between theology and psychology, he ing Gottfried Boehm, is called the iconic turn,33 not to mention the question of
argues, adding that Belting fails to see that the general psychological theory is whether more empirically minded scholars working in other traditions whether
already present in the Byzantine theory of images.27 Rather than characterising in the United States or elsewhere will follow the Germans characteristically
theologians as censors, Freedberg casts them as agents provocateurs.28 Freedberg philosophical lead.34 Whereas Boehm champions a hermeneutic of the image
claims that what he considers typical for the Middle Ages proves normative for independent of texts, Horst Bredekamps Bildwissenschaft, in ways different from
all of human history, not just in the West. In Freedbergs forceful formulation the Beltings, seeks to subsume all images, including scientific imaging and mass
ontology of holy images is exemplary for all images.29 If anything, Beltings work media, to an expanded art-historical domain that, as always, established itself in
subsequent to Bild und Kult, above all his recent study of optics and perspective art and social practice long before it did in academia.35 Such debates have serious
(Florenz und Bagdad: eine weststliche Geschichte des Blicks, 2008), has, in focusing stakes, not simply for anything so narrow as the discipline, however defined, as
on questions of perception, drawn closer to Freedbergs position.30 Nonetheless, it for the understanding of something as important as what Belting himself called
remains telling that whereas in America advocates of the pictorial turn, in particu- the most interesting question of all: why images?.36
lar W. J. T. Mitchell, focus on pictures, the mass media and refer to Panofsky, by An essay such as this cannot pass in review the extraordinary number of spe-
contrast, in Germany, the iconic turn focuses on the body as medium and takes cialised topics that Beltings synthesis brought together by, again in his own words,
Aby Warburg as its obsessive point of reference. By insisting on various forms overcoming the narrow treatment of the topic that is prevalent today.37 Some of
of cultural embeddedness, American image theory, whether presented under his suggestions have garnered assent, others not. In its focus on the cult image,
the rubric visual culture or visual studies, presents a very different picture. In however defined, and its impact, Beltings book, despite its vast coverage, provides
Mitchells words: Whatever the pictorial turn is, then, it should be clear that it a foreshortened vision of medieval art that excludes many other genres and media
is not a return to naive mimesis, copy or correspondence theories of representa- that do not fit comfortably with his framework. By his own admission, narra-
tion, or a renewed metaphysics of pictorial presence. It is rather a post-linguistic, tive imagery plays no role.38 Neither, by and large, does sculpture or metalwork,
post-semiotic rediscovery of the picture as a complex interplay between visuality, both of which for much of the Middle Ages were valued more highly than paint-
apparatus, institutions, discourse, bodies and figurality.31 Amidst this range of the- ing and played critical roles in cult contexts. So powerful is Beltings storyline
oretical options, for anyone who still believes in the conditioning effects of culture, that the cult image has sometimes come to stand for medieval art tout court. The
society, class and gender, let alone other factors, there is reason to be sceptical Western monastic tradition, which had a decisive impact on attitudes towards
214 hans belting Bild und Kult 215

images in the medieval West, gets short shrift. The book too often falls back on the originality and character not simply of the Renaissance, should one still care
appeals to popular culture when, in the Middle Ages, as Peter Brown was among to use that term, but also, more critically, of early Christian art.
the first to insist, divisions between high and low were hardly as well-defined as Scholars working in the early modern period who take Beltings book as the
in modernity.39 Beltings definition of just what constitutes a cult image has itself last word on the Middle Ages would do well to pay close attention to these debates,
been called part of a kunstwissenschaftliche Ikonenmystik.40 Whereas Belting suc- since they have important implications for the broader applicability of some of its
cinctly, yet broadly, defines the sphere of the cult image as that which deals with bolder hypotheses, especially as they have been developed and extended in his sub-
people and with their beliefs, superstitions, hopes and fears in handling images, sequent work. At issue is how the Middle Ages are framed, and the degree to which
historians of liturgy would counter that the concept of cult more narrowly repre- the period is seen as the crucible of modernity or its antithesis. These debates are
sents a corporate paradigm. Not all images representing persons were regarded not new, and Beltings work constitutes part of a continuous re-evaluation. His book
as miraculous living images, a privilege that could on occasion also be extended participates in a return to a vision of the Middle Ages that is more instinctual or at
to other types and genres, narrative imagery included. In his recent re-evaluation least pre-discursive, but without the pejorative judgment that previously attached
of the origins of apsidal decoration in the medieval West (The Apse, the Image to condemnations of its alterity. More important, however, and perhaps ultimately
and the Icon: An Historical Perspective of the Apse as a Space for Images, 2010), more fruitful, has been Beltings willingness, with a similar anthropological bent,
Beat Brenk (perhaps unfairly) does not mention Beltings book or even his land- to ignore what his adventuresome predecessor, Aby Warburg, characterised as
mark article on S. Maria Antiqua, arguing that cult imagery and the practices the Grenzpolizei, the disciplinary border guards. Even if, contra Belting, both the
associated with it, far from an inheritance from Antiquity, by and large repre- concept of art in the Middle Ages and art history as a whole appear to have a
sent inventions of later Late Antiquity.41 In contrast, Belting, seeking to sustain future, there can be no doubt that Beltings book will have played a transformative
the onset of modernity c.1500 as his great divide, presents a relatively seamless role in shaping their course.
transition between ancient and Christian cult practices, with reservations regard-
ing power and presence given as expressions of textual (and theological) anxiety.
Rather than representing a substratum of popular belief on which Christian tradi-
tion would eventually build, however, ancient religious practices and the attitudes
towards art that accompanied them were both complex and contradictory.42
In the words of Peter Stewart:

...it would be somewhat harder to construct a modern era of art if his [Beltings]
attention to the Roman world extended back beyond late antiquity. For while
Roman responses to images were pre-modern they may have been irrational in
many ways and they certainly do not correspond precisely to the modern Western
concept of art they nevertheless have too much in common with that perspective
to be confined in a kind of anthropological crucible.43

Ancient attitudes towards cult statues ranged from scepticism to veneration, but
contemporaries seem to have had little trouble reconciling cult and culture.44 It
may seem petulant to ask more of a book that already provides so much, but in
tracing the story of the Christian cult image, too much is taken for granted at the
outset. At stake in these debates, beyond perennial problems of periodisation, are
228 Notes Notes 229

Articles, Letters to the Editor, Originality of the Avant-Garde and 1 H. Belting: Das Echte Bild: 7 Although it does not discuss Belting, tivitt im Wandel vom Mittelalter First Plenary Conference at Merida,
Reports, Statements, Complaints, Other Modernist Myths, The Oxford Bildfragen als Glaubensfragen, see J. Elkins and D. Morgan, eds.: in die Frhe Neuzeit, Berlin 2008, Leiden 1999, pp.1534.
Halifax 1975, p.198. For more on the Art Journal 9/2 (1986), p.65. Munich 2005. Re-Enchantment, London 2008, pp.24386. 21 See, for example, H.A. Oberman:
often antagonistic dialogue between 25 C. Owens: The Discourse of Others: 2 Idem: review of O. Demuss for the broader context in which 15 M. Caviness: Erweiterung des The Dawn of the Reformation:
Judd and Krauss, see D. Raskin: Feminists and Postmodernism Byzantine Art and the West, The Art Beltings book participates and, to a Kunst-Begriffs: Die Rezeption Essays in Late Medieval and Early
The Shiny Illusionism of Krauss (1983), repr. in idem 1994, op. cit. Bulletin 54 (1972), pp.54244. certain extent, helped create. mittelalterlicher Werke im Reformation Thought, Grand Rapids
and Judd, Art Journal (Spring 2006), (note 18), pp.16690. 3 For some context, see U. Peters: 8 Among the few to note the Kontext nachimpressionistischer 1992; and J. Simpson: Diachronic
pp.621. 26 A. Chave: Minimalism and Historische Anthropologie connections is K.-O. Werckmeister: Bewegungen, Oesterreichische History and the Shortcomings of
13 Recounted in Newman, op. cit. (note Biography, The Art Bulletin 82 und mittelalterliche Jutta Helds Monument und Zeitschrift fr Kunst und Medieval Studies, in G. McMullan
5), p.144. (2000), p.149. Literatur: Schwerpnkte Volk und Hans Beltings Bild und Denkmalpflege 40 (1986), pp.204 and D. Matthews, eds.: Reading the
14 R. Krauss: preface to R. Allen and 27 Ibid., pp.15354. einer interdisziplinren Kult, Georges-Bloch-Jahrbuch des 15, translated as Broadening the Medieval in Early Modern England,
M. Turvey, eds.: Camera Obscura, 28 Recounted in Newman, op. cit. (note Forschungsdiskussion, in Kunstgeschichtlichen Seminars der Definitions of Art: The Reception Cambridge 2007, pp.1730.
Camera Lucida: Essays in Honour 5), p.78. Festschrift Walter Haug und Universitt Zrich 2 (1995), pp.711. of Medieval Works in the Context 22 F. Jacobs: Rethinking the Divide:
of Annette Michelson, Amsterdam 29 R. Krauss: Re-Presenting Picasso, Burghart Wachinger, Tbingen 9 D. Schttker, ed.: Walter Benjamin: of Post-Impressionist Movements, Cult Images and the Cult of Images,
2003, pp.911. Art in America (December 1980), 1992, I, pp.6386; and C. Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner in P.J. Gallacher and H. Damico, in J. Elkins and R. Williams, eds.:
15 Siedell, op. cit. (note 8), p.99. pp.9096. Kiening: Anthropologische technischen Reproduzierbarkeit und eds.: Hermeneutics and Medieval Renaissance Theory, New York 2008,
16 Krauss 2010, op. cit. (note 6), p.xi. 30 Apart from In the Name of Picasso, Zugnge zur mittelalterlichen weitere Dokumente, Frankfurt am Culture, Albany 1989, pp.25982. pp.95114.
17 On Bataille, see No More Play, this theme is taken up most Literatur: Konzepte, Anstze, Main 2007, pp.2021. See, most recently, T. Buddensieg: 23 For one example, see A. Speer:
in Krauss, op. cit. (note 2), p.64: explicitly in the books introduction Perspektiven, in H.-J. Schiewer, 10 Ibid., p.18. Die karolingischen Maler in Tours Kunst ohne Kunst? Interartifizialitt
Informe denotes what alteration and the essays Photographys ed.: Forschungsberichte zur 11 H. Beck and H. Bredekamp: exh. und die Bauhausmaler in Weimar: in Sugers Schriften zur Abteikirche
produces, the reduction of meaning Discursive Spaces and Reading Germanistischen Medivistik, Bern cat. Kunst um 1400 am Mittelrhein, Wilhelm Koehler und Paul Klee, von Saint-Denis, in S. Brkle and
or value, not by contradiction Jackson Pollock, Abstractly. 1996, pp.11129. Beltings work Frankfurt (Liebieghaus) 197576; Zeitschrift fr Kunstgeschichte 73 U. Peters, eds.: Interartifizialitt:
which would be dialectical by 31 D. Carrier: Rosalind Krauss surprisingly makes no reference W. Kemp: Fernbilder: Benjamin (2010), pp.118. Die Diskussion der Knste in der
putrefaction: the puncturing of and American Philosophical Art to A. Gell: Art and Agency: An und die Kunstwissenschaft, in 16 J. Nayrolles: Linvention de lart mittelalterlichen Literatur (Zeitschrift
the limits around the term, the Criticism: From Formalism to Anthropological Theory, Oxford B. Lindner, ed.: Walter Benjamin roman lpoque moderne (XVIIIe fr deutsche Philologie: Sonderheft
reduction to the sameness of the Beyond Postmodernism, Westport 1998. im Kontext, 2nd enlarged ed., XIXe sicles), Rennes 2005; and C. zum Band 128), Berlin 2009,
cadaver which is transgressive. The CT 2002, p.43. 4 J.-C. Schmitt: La culture de limago, Knigstein im Taunus 1985, Grewe: Painting the Sacred in the pp.20320.
work of Bataille was to be explored 32 H. Wlfflin: Principles of Art History: Annales HSS (JanuaryFebruary pp.22457, esp. pp.25054; H. Age of Romanticism, Farnham and 24 To note but one example, the
more extensively in R. Krauss and The Problem of the Development 1996), pp.336. See also idem: Bredekamp: Der simulierte Burlington VT 2009. concept of a visualistic turn,
Y.-A. Bois: Formless: A Users Guide, of Style in Later Art, transl. M.D. Imago: entre image et imaginaire, Benjamin: Mittelalterliche 17 M.R. Olin: Forms of Representation employed in K. Sachs-Hombach,
New York 1997. Hottinger, New York 1950. in A. Dutu and N. Dodille, eds.: Anmerkungen zu seiner Aktualitt, in Alois Riegls Theory of Art, ed.: Bildtheorien: Anthropologische
18 C. Owens: Analysis Logical and 33 Carrier, op. cit. (note 31), p.3. Culture et politique, Paris 1995, in A. Berndt et al., eds.: Frankfurter University Park PA 1992; M. und kulturelle Grundlagen des
Ideological (1985), repr. in idem: 34 Siedell, op. cit. (note 8), p.100. pp.8396; idem: Image: de limage Schule und Kunstgeschichte, Berlin Gubser: Times Visible Surface: Alois Visualistic Turn, Frankfurt 2009.
Beyond Recognition: Representation, 35 Bois, op. cit. (note 20), p.369. limaginaire, in J. Baschet and J.-C. 1992, pp.11740, translated as: The Riegl and the Discourse on History Mediality is another such term that
Power and Culture, Berkley 1994, 36 Ibid. Schmitt, eds.: Limage. Fonctions et Simulated Benjamin: Medieval and Temporality in Fin-de-Sicle lacks any clear meaning in English.
p.276. 37 Ibid. usages des images dans lOccident Remarks on its Actuality, Art in Vienna, Detroit 2006; N.H. 25 H. Belting: Image, Medium, Body:
19 Krauss 2010, op. cit. (note 6), p.1. 38 Introduction to Foster, op. cit. (note mdival, Paris 1996, pp.2937; Translation 1/2 (2009), pp.285301. Donahue, ed.: Invisible Cathedrals: A New Approach to Iconology,
20 In a review of Krausss book and 11), p.xii. idem: Pldoyer fr eine komparative 12 H.-U. Gumbrecht: Production of The Expressionist Art History of Critical Inquiry 31 (2005), pp.302
a subsequent introduction to 39 R. Krauss, Y.-A. Bois, H. Foster Geschichte der religisen Bilder, Presence: What Meaning Cannot Wilhelm Worringer, University Park 19.
Art Since 1900, Yve-Alain Bois and B. Buchloh: Roundtable: The Zeitsprnge: Forschungen zur Frhen Convey, Stanford 2004. PA 1995; J. Trilling: Medieval Art 26 For the first instance of the term,
has differentiated between a Predicament of Contemporary Art, Neuzeit 1 (1997), pp.24468; and 13 For strategies of mediation in without Style? Platos Loophole see W.J.T Mitchell: The Pictorial
morphological conception of in idem, op. cit. (note 20), p.674. idem: La permanence des images et medieval art, see, for example, C. and a Modern Detour, Gesta Turn, Art Forum 30/7 (March 1992),
formalism and a structuralist 40 Krauss 2010, op. cit. (note 6), p.xiv. les changements de temporalit, in Walker Bynum: Seeing and Seeing 34 (1995), pp.5762; and C. pp.8994.
one, identifying Krauss with the T. Dufrne and A.-C. Taylor, eds.: Beyond: The Mass of St. Gregory hlschlger: Abstraktionsdrang: 27 D. Freedberg: Holy Images and
latter; see Y.-A. Bois: review of The chapter 16, pp. 202215 Cannibalismes disciplinaires. Quand in the Fifteenth Century, in A.-M. Wilhelm Worringer und der Geist der Other Images, in S.C. Scott, ed.: The
Originality of the Avant-Garde, Art lhistoire de lart et lanthropologie se Bouch and J. Hamburger, eds.: The Moderne, Paderborn 2005. Art of Interpreting, University Park
Journal 45/4 (1985), pp.36973; and Hans Belting, Bild und Kult: eine rencontrent, Paris 2009, pp.17987. Minds Eye: Art and Theology in the 18 www.schaulager.org/en/index. PA 1995, p.71. Freedberg continues:
idem, B. Buchloh, R. Krauss and Geschichte des Bildes vor dem 5 J. Gerchow, ed.: Ebenbilder: Kopien Middle Ages, Princeton 2005, php?pfad=ausstellung/matthew_ I find the Byzantine theory of
H. Foster: Art Since 1900, London Zeitalter der Kunst, 1990 von Krpern, Modelle des Menschen, pp.20840; and H.L. Kessler: Real barney/katalog. images to be both massangebend
2005. jeffrey hamburger Ostfildern 2002; and B. Latour and Absence: Early Medieval Art and 19 F. Hoffman et al., eds.: Chris Burden, and paradigmatic, in the historical
21 A.E. Elsen and W.A. Haas: On the P. Weibel, eds.: Iconoclash, Karlsruhe the Metamorphosis of Vision, in Newcastle upon Tyne 2007. as well as in the psychological sense.
Question of Originality: A Letter, The author would like to thank 2002, both with contributions by Morfologie sociali e culturali in 20 See, for example, D. Kuspit: 28 Idem: The Power of Images: Studies in
October 22 (Spring 1982), p.109. Ruth Bielfeldt, Caroline Bynum, Belting. See also I. Bartl-Fliedl and Europa fra tarda antichit e alto Traditional Art Historys Complaint the History and Theory of Response,
22 For a critique of Krausss notion of Frank Fehrenbach, Hildegard C. Geissmar, eds.: Die Beredsamkeit medioevo (Settimana internazionale against the Linguistic Analysis of Chicago 1989, pp.16191.
the Paraliterary, see J. Margolis: Elisabeth Keller and Peter Probst for des Leibes: zur Krpersprache in der di studi 45), Spoleto 1998, pp.1157 Visual Art, Journal of Aesthetics 29 Idem, op. cit. (note 27), pp.6989,
Reinterpreting Interpretation, The commenting on previous versions Kunst, Salzburg 1992. 211. and Art Criticism 45 (1987), esp. p.69.
Journal of Aesthetics and Criticism of this review essay. Quotations in 6 I. Almond: How Not to Deconstruct 14 H. Schlie: Ein Kunststck Jan pp.34549. For Late Antiquity, see 30 H. Belting: Florenz und Bagdad:
(Summer 1989), pp.23751. the text are taken from the English a Dominican: Derrida on God and van Eycks in der Nachfolge der P. Brown: Images as a Substitute eine weststliche Geschichte des
23 Owens 1994, op. cit. (note 18), translation by Edmund Jephcott: Hypertruth, Journal of the mittelalterlichen Artefakt- und for Writing, in E. Chrysos and I. Blicks, Munich 2008.
p.281. Likeness and Presence, Chicago American Academy of Religion 68 Kunsttheorie, in C. Laude and G. Wood, eds.: East and West. Modes of 31 W. J. T. Mitchell: Picture Theory:
24 A. Partington: review of The 1994. (2000), pp.32944. Hess, eds.: Konzepte von Produk Communication: Proceedings of the Essays on Visual and Verbal
230 Notes

Representation, Chicago 1994, p.16. Dumbarton Oaks Papers 41 (1987),


32 H. Belting: Szenarien der Moderne:
Kunst und ihre offenen Grenzen, ed.
P. Weibel, Berlin 2005; idem and A.
pp.5569.
42 T.S. Scheer: Die Gottheit und ihr
Bild: Untersuchungen zur Funktion
Bibliographical Essays
Buddensieg, eds.: The Global Art griechischer Kultbilder in Religion
World: Audiences, Markets, and und Politik, Munich 2000.
Museums, Ostfildern 2009. 43 P. Stewart: Gells Idols and Roman
33 G. Boehm: Die Wiederkehr der Cult, in R. Osbourne and J. Tanner, In this section, the term edition is taken to mean the first publication and any subsequent version that incorporates substantial
Bilder, in idem, ed.: Was ist ein Bild?, eds.: Arts Agency and Art History, modifications or additions to the original. In most cases these are signalled by the publisher, although there is no agreed definition
Munich 1994, pp.1138. Oxford 2007, pp.15878, esp. of what constitutes a new edition. Reprinted or reissued volumes are not considered new editions here.
34 W. Sauerlnder: Iconic Turn? pp.16162.
Eine Bitte um Ikonoklasmus, 44 G. Didi-Huberman: Imaginum
in C. Maar and H. Burda, eds.: pictura . . . in totum exoleuit:
Iconic Turn: Die neue Macht der
Bilder, Cologne 2004, pp.40726;
Dbut de lhistoire de lart et fin
de lpoque de limage, Critique mile mle (18621954)
idem: Kunstgeschichte und 586 (1996), pp.13850; D. Steiner:
Bildwissenschaft, in J. Frchtl and Images in Mind: Statues in Archaic
M. Moog-Grnewald, eds.: sthetik and Classical Greek Literature
in metaphysikkritischen Zeiten: and Thought, Princeton 2001; P. biography
100 Jahre Zeitschrift fr sthetik Stewart: Statues in Roman Society:


und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft Representation and Response,
(Sonderheft der Zeitschrift Oxford 2003, pp.184222; and J. mile Mle was a medievalist specialising Editions to date in original language:Ten
fr sthetik und Allgemeine Mylonopoulos, ed.: Divine Images in French Gothic art and architecture. He First translation: 1907, German
Kunstwissenschaft 8), Tbingen and Human Imaginations in Ancient was a pioneering figure in the iconographic Other languages: English, Spanish
2007, pp.93108. Greece and Rome, Leiden 2010.
35 H. Bredekamp: A Neglected approach to art history the study of the
Tradition? Art History as sources and meaning of pictorial elements, LArt religieux du XIIIe sicle en France. Etude
Bildwissenschaft,
as opposed to pictorial form and he coined sur liconographie du moyen ge et sur ses sources
Critical Inquiry 29 (2003),
pp.41828. the term iconography in 1927. From 1886 he dinspiration, was first published in Paris by
36 H. Belting: Likeness and Presence: A taught literature at secondary schools, but Ernest Leroux in 1898. The second revised and
History of the Image Before the Era
of Art, transl. E. Jephcott, Chicago
began lecturing on art-historical subjects in corrected edition was published by Armand
1994, p.xxii. 1892. His doctoral thesis, LArt religieux du Colin in Paris in 1902, and a third in 1910,
37 Ibid. XIIIe sicle en France, was finished in 1898 and revised and augmented. It was eventually to
38 H. Belting and D. Blume, eds.:
Malerei und Stadtkultur in der
published in the same year. He began teaching form one of the volumes of a series of four works
Dantezeit: die Argumentation der Christian medieval archaeology at the Sorbonne covering French medieval art, all published
Bilder, Munich 1989, does not deal in 1906 and was appointed to a new chair in by Armand Colin, comprising LArt religieux
with narrative imagery from the
early Christian period to the High medieval art there in 1912. Mle continued to de la fin du Moyen ge en France (1908); LArt
Middle Ages. research and publish on the subject of French religieux au XIIe sicle en France (1922); and LArt
39 P. Brown: The Cult of the Saints: medieval art, and was appointed honorary religieux aprs le Concile de Trente: tude sur
Its Rise and Function in Latin
Christianity, Chicago 1981. director of the cole Franaise in Rome in 1923, liconographie de la fin du XVIe sicle, du XVIIe,
40 See Peter Schmidts report where he stayed until 1937. Following the War du XVIIIe sicle, Italie, France, Espagne, Flanders
on the conference at the he took up the position of curator at the Muse (1932). Further French editions of LArt religieux
Kunstgeschichtliches Institut der
Universitt Frankfurt am Main, in Jacquemart-Andr, Paris. du XIIIe sicle en France were published in: 1919
collaboration with the Liebieghaus, (fourth edition), 1923 (fifth edition), 1925, (sixth
Frankfurt, 22nd to 24th June 2007:
Sinn und Un-Sinn des Kultbildes:
publication history edition), 1931 (seventh edition), 1948 (eighth
Die Intellektualisierung und die edition) 1958 (ninth edition). All subsequent
Mystifizierung mittelalterlicher LArt religieux du XIIIe sicle en France. tude printings reproduce the text of the ninth
Kunst, Kunstchronik 61/910
(2008), pp.45761.
sur liconographie du moyen ge et sur ses edition, the first to appear after Mles death. It
41 B. Brenk: The Apse, the Image sources dinspiration was reprinted by Armand Colin in 1968, 1969,
and the Icon: An Historical 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1993. A new edition
Perspective of the Apse as a Space
for Images, Wiesbaden 2010; and
First published:1898 appeared in 1986, again reproducing the text of
H. Belting: Eine Privatkapelle Original language: French the ninth edition.
im frhmittelalterlichen Rom,