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Painting with FireSir Joshua Reynolds, Photography, and the Temporally Evolving Chemical Object$
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Matthew C. Hunter

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226390253

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226390390.001.0001

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Art History in/as an Age of Combustion

Art History in/as an Age of Combustion

(p.179) Conclusion Art History in/as an Age of Combustion
Painting with Fire

Matthew C. Hunter

University of Chicago Press

The conclusion critically examines one possible legacy for the relay of chemical image-making and its fusions with combustion-engine research examined in this book: the Anthropocene. Noting ways in which James Watt and British industrialism have figured in the historiography of an epoch of humanity’s influence on the global climate (and in critiques of the Anthropocene), the conclusion highlights the abiding, art-historical force of tools and concepts rooted in the work of Alois Riegl. Against persisting resistance within art history to interpretations privileging materials and techniques, it concludes by considering the contours and possibilities of an “elemental art history.”

Keywords:   Anthropocene, Alois Riegl, Elemental Art History, Art-Historical Method, Art and Science, Chemistry and Art, Global Warming, George Perkins Marsh

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