Vaneian Stepan, archpriest

Gombrich, Panofsky and the sense of meaning in art and the science of art

Vaneian Stepan (2013) "Gombrich, Panofsky and the sense of meaning in art and the science of art ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2013, vol. 10, pp. 21-43 (in Russian).


Panofski, the acknowledged founder of iconology, which forms a new concept of the science of art rather than just a new method of semantic analysis, developed from his German and Neo-Kantian texts written in 1930s to clear and convincing texts of his American period; i.e. from hermeneutics of symbolic forms as existential auto-interpretation to cultural and historical contextualization of intended meanings. E. Gombrich, one of relatively recent (1972) critics of iconology, made an attempt to replace the philosophical basis of iconology with kind of philosophy of ordinary consciousness, as it was no more than ‘rules of good conduct’ that he saw in scientific discourse. Self-restriction in terms of epistemological ambitions of a historian was his main virtue.


Iconology, science of art, semantic analysis, hermeneutics of symbolic forms, existential auto-interpretation, intended meaning, philosophy of ordinary consciousness, scientic discourse


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Vaneian Stepan, archpriest