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Petr Wittlich

The Death of the Image and an Inquiry into Analogy in Art History

The article looks for a way to positively assess the hanging painting today, the 'death' of which has been proclaimed many times, and discovers that this has to do with the matter of artistic creativity and how it is understood in the theory of art history. He draws inspiration from Gillese Deleuze's Logique de la sensation about Francis Bacon, which suggests understanding the value of the artistic image in its achievement of 'aesthetic analogy', producing similarity by means of dissimilar devices. The concept of analogy, which is highly valued in contemporary cognitive science, can form a bridge between the paradigm of the classic hanging painting and contemporary artistic practices, which decentralised the image and contextualise as much as possible. It can also be useful for the theory and methodology of art history if instead of favouring linear causality in the construction of developmental stages a view is applied that considers all modalities in the use of serially proportional, structural, and 'network' concepts of analogy for the interpretation of art. In this way art history could avoid the impending danger of boundless contextualising and restore the sense of cultural value, but understood in its historical variability.

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