Orient oder Rom? Prehistory, history and reception of a historiographical myth (1880–1930)

Authors

FOLETTI Ivan LOVINO Francesco

Type Conference
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description Today the question “Orient oder Rom?” is no longer a topical issue in medieval art history, although a persuasive answer has never been formulated. One of the reasons for this oblivion deals with the controversial figure of Josef Strzygowski, who in 1901 published about the question his pivotal volume and nowadays discredited for its racial and proto-nazi judgement. However, the question “Orient oder Rom?” concerns not only with Josef Strzygowski: the prodromes of this critical concepts goes back to the nineteenth century, when the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires fought to control contested territories, and humanities studies mirrored these conflicts. The conference aims to distance from the sole Strzygowski’s perspective and to comprehend and rewrite the story of a pivotal concept for both art historiography and cultural identity. The goal of such reflection deals with three different moments: (I) the prehistory of the question “Orient oder Rom?” according to the nineteenth-century studies in the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and even in the Ottoman empires, where art history coincided with political aspiration; (II) the Vienna experience and the dialectical clash between Alois Riegl’s and Franz Wickhoff’s school against Josef Strzygowski, and its repercussions worldwide; (III) the longue duree or how the lumbering figure of Strzygowski determined the critical misfortune of the question during the 1920s and the 1930s, until the postwar period.
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