Taťána Petrasová

19th Century Methodology of Art History and Research from the Perspective of Progress

pp. 220–231 (Czech), 232 (English)

This paper explores the possibilities opened up by interdisciplinary research of 19th century historicism in the then Czechoslovakia between 1981 and 1991 in connection with the establishment of the Pilsen Symposium tradition. This annual gathering of scholars in Pilsen - a functioning interdisciplinary platform up to this day - focused on the period between the Baroque and the avant-gardes, although the initial starting point for discussion was the post-1848 period. The author views the effort to create jointly a new methodological basis as a collective workwhose individual authors were: filozofie zvolen?ho t?matu coming up with their own strategies to anchor the then young discipline of historical research in a "non chronological" way. The text only focuses on a part of this collective work, i.e. the methodology of art history. It is based on the hypothesis that there were two starting points that gradually converged in the Czech environment. On the one hand, there were scholars who followed the current ideas of "art and progress," which Ernst Gombrich used Gombrich used in 1971 to point out the formation of a canon in art history (from Classicism to Primitivism and from Romanticism to Modernism). On the other hand, there were those who emphasised the necessity to break away from the idea of successive polarised periods. They came up with the idea of "developmental rationality and irrationality" of certain style periods across history, stressing theideological proximity of historicism to mannerism and postmodernism. This stream also allowed art history to intersect with the inspirational practices of other disciplines, particularly literary studies and aesthetics.

Keywords: methodology – postmodernism – historicism – manerism – Ernst Gombrich – Petr Wittlich

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