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Das Eine im Wandel: music and Kunstwissenschaft

Author(s): Robert Williams

Journal: Journal of Art Historiography
ISSN 2042-4752

Volume: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Music | Will | Kunstwollen | Schopenhauer

This essay examines the role of music in shaping Riegl’s conception of Kunstwollen and thus his conception of the history of art as a whole. Indebted both to Schopenhauer’s appreciation of music as an expression of the ultimate reality, that thing-in-itself which he calls the Will, and to Hanslick’s notion of music as tonal forms in motion, likened at one point to a moving arabesque, Riegl understood the Kunstwollen to be the ultimate object of a properly “scientific” art history, that thing-in-itself which the history of art must assume to exist as the condition of its own possibility as a science. Immaterial and dynamic, it displaces the focus of art-historical inquiry from the individual art object; its radical potential is at odds with the object fetishism of contemporary art history.

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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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