Skip to content

The Power of Images, by David Freedberg

01/01/1989 (Aprox)


Freedberg, formerly the Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia University, and since 2015 the director of the Warburg Institute, had, before turning his attention to the brain, published widely on Dutch, Flemish, French, and Italian seventeenth-century art (including painting, drawing, and print), iconoclasm, the intersection of art and science, and, to a lesser extent, contemporary art. Freedberg’s interest in the neurosciences relates directly to historical events he explored in his seminal The Power of Images.


Although beauty has been a central topic in aesthetics, the neuroaesthetics of beauty has brought us to the point of wondering if, in spite of its name, the new discipline is about aesthetics at all. With David Freedberg, we enter a different world—one that promises a more sophisticated treatment of art as well as smarter ways of linking neuroscientific knowledge and the aesthetic relation.

In that book, Freedberg (1989) wished, as Ernst Gombrich (1990) noted in a sharp review, “to lead the response to art back to our elementary reactions.”

Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

Cover of the book, found at the website for the University of Chicago Press.
You can purchase the book below:

The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response


Freedberg (1989, 437) pointed to in The Power of Images when he complained that our perception is clouded by “the compulsion to establish whether an object is art or not.” There are occasions indeed when that compulsion and the discourse that surrounds it are obstacles to both feeling and understanding, yet if art is to remain a meaningful notion and the aesthetic relation a meaningful experience, cortex without context simply won’t do.


Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

David Freedberg is best known for his work on psychological responses to art, and particularly for h...
Learn more about David Freedberg's research and find a list of selected publications for download below:

Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University

Watch David Freedberg talk about iconoclasm:
Destruction of Monuments and Memory in the Middle East: David Freedberg
Contemporary Image Conflicts: Violence and Iconoclasm from Charlie Hebdo to Daesh - David Freedberg
The Fear of Art: Reflections on Art Censorship and Banning

0 comments

Comment

No comments avaliable.

Author

Tags

Info

Published in 18/01/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Chap. 2: Neuroaesthetics:


01/01/1997 (Aprox)01/01/1999 (Aprox)Coining of the word NeuroaestheticsCoining of the word Neuroaesthetics
01/01/2010 (Aprox)Neuroaesthetics as a field of studyNeuroaesthetics as a field of study
01/01/2013 (Aprox)Foundation of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical AestheticsFoundation of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
01/01/2008 (Aprox)Coining of the term NeuroarthistoryCoining of the term Neuroarthistory
01/01/2004 (Aprox)Neural Correlates of Beauty, by Hideaki Kawabata and Semir ZekiNeural Correlates of Beauty, by Hideaki Kawabata and Semir Zeki
01/01/2000 (Aprox)fMRI Experiment on Art Creation, by Robert SolsofMRI Experiment on Art Creation, by Robert Solso
01/01/1964 (Aprox)Andy Warhol's Brillo BoxAndy Warhol's Brillo Box
01/01/1989 (Aprox)The Power of Images, by David FreedbergThe Power of Images, by David Freedberg
01/01/2007 (Aprox)01/01/2009 (Aprox)David Freedberg's articles on neuroaesthetics
01/01/1992 (Aprox)Discovery of Mirror NeuronsDiscovery of Mirror Neurons
01/01/2015 (Aprox)Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, by Alva NöeOut of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, by Alva Nöe
01/01/1993 (Aprox)Andy Warhol: Brillo Box, by Arthur DantoAndy Warhol: Brillo Box, by Arthur Danto