What is archetypal criticism

4. Continuity, difference, self-reference
On the problem of archetypes in art history

Title: Constructions of Memory by Peter Gorsen pp. 238 - 244

Carl Gustav Jung and Aby Warburg
By Peter Gorsen

It is indisputable that analytical psychology exerts a great influence on the study of the history of art. Aby Warburg in particular and his school, who put iconography and iconology at the center of their analyzes, have many contacts with the depth psychological questioning of form and the purely gestural. Against Wölfflin's postulate of “pure seeing”, Warburg and his successors such as Erwin Panofsky, Ernst Gombrich, Jan Bialostocki, William S. Heckscher, Edgar Wind and others drew attention to the inseparable connection between seeing and knowledge, form and matter, which Wölfflin was interested in wanted to separate an autonomous art history research and an immanent art development. Against Wölfflin's formalization, at the beginning of our century people again thought of Burckhardt's concept of an integral art and cultural-historical research method, which since Warburg has included a whole bundle of disciplines such as ethnology, expressive psychology, psychoanalysis, and research on religion and myths.

The iconological method in art history, which is again up-to-date today, is based on Warburg's “concept of total culture in which artistic vision fulfills a necessary function”. Anyone who wants to follow it must “not completely detach artistic vision from its connection with the other cultural functions. Rather, he must ask the double question: What do these other functions - religion and poetry, myth and science, society and state - mean for the pictorial imagination? What does the picture mean for these functions? ”1

C. G. Jung's symbol research and the theory of archetypes had an important, if not smooth, influence on this development. His repeatedly reformulated, sometimes contradicting term ...

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