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Aby Warburg

Rituel, Pathosformel et forme intermédiaire
Giovanni Careri
p. 41-76


Aby Warburg: Ritual, Pathosformel and Intermediate Forms. – In Western iconographic traditions, certain patterns of gestures reappear after a long latent period but endowed with renewed affective intensity. Can this phenomenon be understood by limiting the study to the images themselves? Or, instead, should research be oriented toward the ritual actions, myths and tales that go along with the performance of these gestures? How to conceive of these survivals from the past from the global viewpoint of the anthropology of images but without sacrificing the formal specificity, both singular and complex, of the art work to the generalities of the “social context”? At the crossroads between aesthetics, anthropology and the history of art, these questions were raised, when this discipline became an academic institution, by Aby Warburg (1866-1929), one of its founders. Based on interpreting certain theoretical presuppositions in art history, a new “articulation” of his interrogations and two examples of analyses are presented that prove the heuristic value such a procedure has at present.

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Bibliographical reference

Giovanni Careri, « Aby Warburg », L’Homme, 165 | 2003, 41-76.

Electronic reference

Giovanni Careri, « Aby Warburg », L’Homme [Online], 165 | janvier-mars 2003, Online since 27 March 2008, connection on 13 November 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/lhomme.198

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About the author

Giovanni Careri

EHESS, Centre d’histoire et de théorie des arts, Paris.

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© École des hautes études en sciences sociales

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