Evening lecture

Andrea Pinotti: "Einfühlung als stilbildende Macht". Warburg, Hildebrand, Vischer, and Corporeal Empathy

within the framwork of the Studienkurs "Ways of Seeing Florence. Archives, Autopsies and Art Historical Research in Italy around 1900"

The "Eilbringitte", detail from Domenico Ghirlandaio, The Birth of John the Baptist. Florence, Santa Maria Novella, dated 1486–1490

This talk will address the role played by the concept of empathy (Einfühlung) in Aby Warburg's reflections on images as living and powerful entities. In his respect it will consider the influence exerted on Warburg by the art historian Robert Vischer (one of the most relevant empathy theorists of the second half of the 19th century) and by the sculptor and art theorist Adolf von Hildebrand. Both Vischer and Hildebrand developed a particular corporeal approach to empathy which can be recognized in Warburg's conceptualization of the notion of "Pathosformel".


Andrea Pinotti is professor in aesthetics in the department of Philosophy "Piero Martinetti", State University of Milan. His research focuses on image theories and visual culture studies, memorialisation and monumentality, phenomenological aesthetics, empathy theories, the morphological tradition from Goethe to the present day. Among his publications the volumes Il corpo dello stile. Storia dell'arte come storia dell'estetica a partire da Semper, Riegl, Wölfflin (1998), Memorie del neutro. Morfologia dell'immagine in Aby Warburg (2001), Empathie. Histoire d'une idée de Platon au post-humain (2016), Cultura visuale. Immagini sguardi media dispositivi (in collaboration with Antonio Somaini, 2016). In 2018 he was awarded the Wissenschaftspreis der Aby-Warburg-Stiftung in Hamburg. He is currently directing an ERC-Advanced project entitled An-iconology. History, Theory, and Practices of Environmental Images.


in cooperation with

25 September 2019, 6:30pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


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