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Dreamland of HumanistsWarburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School$
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Emily J. Levine

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226061689

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226061719.001.0001

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Warburg’s Renaissance and the Things in Between

Warburg’s Renaissance and the Things in Between

(p.49) Two Warburg’s Renaissance and the Things in Between
Dreamland of Humanists

Emily J. Levine

University of Chicago Press

Influenced by Burckhardt and Nietzsche, Warburg promoted a radically new understanding of how the Renaissance inherited a more complex aesthetic heritage from classical antiquity. Yet in the spirit of the cultural historian Karl Lamprecht, Warburg also wished to create an interdisciplinary methodology that would permit him to analyze this process in a holistic way. The second chapter argues that Warburg’s prewar writings on Botticelli and Ghirlandaio reveals how he took certain tropes from his mercantile home city, including, most notably the merchant, the widow, and the amateur “private scholar,” to develop a new portrait of Renaissance art and its social milieu. His approach, which connected perennial problems of form and content, and genius and predefined classical tropes, with the observation of a single detail, captured in such concepts as the Nachleben der Antike and the pathosformel, would become his greatest intellectual contribution to art history.

Keywords:   Warburg, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Burckhardt, Lamprecht, Nietzsche Renaissance, classical antiquity, cultural history, Nachleben der Antike, pathosformel

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