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The “value of drawing” and the “method of vision”. How formalism and connoisseurship shaped the aesthetic of the sketch

Bojilova, Elvira (2021) The “value of drawing” and the “method of vision”. How formalism and connoisseurship shaped the aesthetic of the sketch. Journal of Art Historiography (24). ISSN 2042-4752

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URL of Published Version: https://arthistoriography.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/bojilova.pdf

Identification Number/DOI: https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00003419


This essay explores how connoisseurship and formalism from the late nineteenth until the middle of the twentieth centuries contributed to the study of drawing that characterised and shaped sketches as a particular subgenre. By focusing on reoccurring and recontextualised expressions, phrases, and notions used by Heinrich Wölfflin, Bernard Berenson, Max Friedländer, and Bernhard Degenhart, I will argue how drawings were either used to describe painting as a stepping stone for an epochal style or as a quasi-semiotic and graphological approach toward the genre that, in turn, favoured a specific aesthetic ascribed to the artist’s assumed personality. Moreover, the two genres were tied to a set of vocabulary that highlighted both their individual function and aesthetic, yet unfolded a methodologically problematic narrative.

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
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This article is archived in ePapers for preservation purposes

Date:June 2021
Keywords:history of drawing, Florentine drawings, Renaissance, Baroque, aesthetics, sketch, methodology, language of art history
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Copyright Status:Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. Authors may subsequently archive and publish the pdfs as produced by the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any images contained within the articles. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
ID Code:3419
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