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‘Ksawery Piwocki and the Vienna and Lvov Schools of Art History’

Author(s): Wojciech Bałus

Journal: Journal of Art Historiography
ISSN 2042-4752

Volume: 8;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Piwocki | L'viv | Folk Art | formalism | Dilthey | ethnography | Riegl

The scientific work of Ksawery Piwocki (1901-1974), Polish art historian, differed from the work of researchers of his generation in two essential aspects. It took folk and primitive art into account and considered art contemporary with Piwocki’s life. The ideal sought by Piwocki was a comprehensive outlook on artistic phenomena. In relation to the individual work of art, this entailed emphasising the role of form as the factor shaping the structure and essence of the artefact. Form not only constituted the painting or sculpture, but was also the bearer. Piwocki's comprehensive examination could be also applied on a wider scale, to historical periods and artistic genres, as well as to folk art. That is the source of both the researcher's interest in Kunstwollen and its connection with the notion of style as a supraindividual drive producing the style of a historical period of inner meaning, i.e. the outlook on life and psychological content . The views of Piwocki were formed under the influence of the Vienna School of Art History (Alois Riegl) and scholars from the University of Lvov (Jan Bołoz Antoniewicz, Władysław Podlacha), where he studied before World War 2.

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