Carl Frey (1857–1917): Contesting Methodologies in Renaissance Studies around 1900

Fabian Jonietz

The important discoveries, textual editions and commentaries on medieval and early modern sources published by the Berlin art historian Carl Frey opened up new directions for Renaissance studies. While his transcriptions still remain an essential foundation for current scholarship, his intellectual work also mirrors the variety of diverging approaches, tendencies and disputes between the different academic fields and schools around 1900. In particular, Frey’s own preferences for certain methods and subjects challenged the autonomy of art history just as the young discipline was beginning to establish itself. The project therefore aims to contribute to the ongoing self-definition of art history as a discipline by taking into account some of its early moments of crisis.


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