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A Contribution to the Dissemination of Theory in the Historical Space of Art History

Nataša Lah ; Department of Art History, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (216 KB) str. 243-254 preuzimanja: 716* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Lah, N. (2013). Prilog širenju teorijske domene u povijesnom prostoru povijesti umjetnosti. Ars Adriatica, (3), 243-254. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Lah, Nataša. "Prilog širenju teorijske domene u povijesnom prostoru povijesti umjetnosti." Ars Adriatica, vol. , br. 3, 2013, str. 243-254. Citirano 11.07.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Lah, Nataša. "Prilog širenju teorijske domene u povijesnom prostoru povijesti umjetnosti." Ars Adriatica , br. 3 (2013): 243-254.
Lah, N. (2013). 'Prilog širenju teorijske domene u povijesnom prostoru povijesti umjetnosti', Ars Adriatica, (3), str. 243-254. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 11.07.2020.)
Lah N. Prilog širenju teorijske domene u povijesnom prostoru povijesti umjetnosti. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2013 [pristupljeno 11.07.2020.];(3):243-254. Dostupno na:
N. Lah, "Prilog širenju teorijske domene u povijesnom prostoru povijesti umjetnosti", Ars Adriatica, vol., br. 3, str. 243-254, 2013. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 11.07.2020.]

In the European cultural tradition of the second half of the nineteenth century, the framework of the discipline of art history was outlined through a clearly defined set of boundaries of its research into objects,
space and time. By identifying itself as a history of European architecture, painting, sculpture and the applied arts, art history excluded the art of the primitive, Oriental, American and Asian, both early and more
developed civilizations from the remit of its research and study (Dilly). However, a scholarly paradigm which was postulated like this could not be applied to the study and assessment of numerous twentieth-century
artistic practices which were based on the exploration of cultures as systems of discourse and ideology. In other words, a shattering shift within the discipline was caused by the epochal change of what a paradigm is: as suggested by T. S. Kuhn, it is understood as the
normative content of the topic under discussion. Such an understanding of a paradigm indirectly influences scholarly processes because it dictates what is to be researched, which questions are to be asked and how they are to be formulated, and how research findings are to be interpreted. Scholarly interest has turned from a chronological study of the development of artistic styles, schools and movements in the history of
European art towards contextual research into the same topics which are set within a spatial and chronological framework of a series of discontinued revolutions in world views. The difficulty of applying a traditional scholarly apparatus to new models was also transferred in the field of aesthetics, which resulted in a complete rejection of the evaluation of art as judgement of taste, as it was specifically perceived in this philosophical (sub) discipline from Baumgarten (1750) onwards. To some degree, aesthetics was replaced by an interdisciplinary
understanding of art theory which developed from various autonomous disciplines which are nonetheless mutually interconnected through their research processes, that is, the social sciences and humanities such as history of art, art criticism, sociology of art, psychology of art, semiotics and semiology of art, philosophy of art and aesthetics. In such a context,
our interest is directed towards the understanding of a theoretical field which has been defined as the history of art history, since it outlines the journey of a discipline, in Udo Kultermann’s book of the same name which is on the reading list for the course in art theory in Croatian academic art-historical circles. The study of that section of the book which describes the history of art history in the classical period, has demonstrated that the explanations and conclusions contained in it are in contrast to the explanations and conclusions of prominent art theorians, especially those who studied the history of aesthetics and classical philology. We can note the differences on two levels. The first is the methodology of scholarly research, while the second is based on a different perception of the boundaries of the domain of art-historical theory. Kultermann relies on a strict division with regard to content and methodology between art istory,
philosophy (aesthetics) and historiography, and so, following from this, it appears that classical art history almost did not even exist. On the other hand, the theory of art takes into consideration the nature of classical historiographic standards, the aim of which was to provide examples of the normative content of philosophy, that is, the testimonies of its credibility and manifestation. Such an approach takes into account the
content norms of the preserved classical sources about art, and through it, our perception of the position of art in that period focuses on the theoretical insights which are more encompassing than those encountered in the aforementioned section of Kultermann’s book. Based on this, we suggest that the evaluation of material should follow the methodological standards of art theory in such a way that individual artistic eras are understood and interpreted as historical periods which were unified
through invariable paradigms which were always new and which integrated a large number of artistic concepts and ideas but which, nonetheless, possessed a general value in a specific period. According to Bihalji-Merin, we act like this out of gratitude towards an academic
discipline which creates an orderly knowledge since the “images which lead us, constructed from a mythical tradition, disperse slowly and instead of them, a critical, human system of thought is formed.” Such a
process focuses primarily on the revision of a number of hitherto unrevised prejudices towards theory.However, this is not done on the ruins of the historical legacy of art history but on its foundations.

Ključne riječi
theory of art; history of art history; history of classical theory of art; paradigm; content norms; historiographic landmarks

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