eleanor oliphant twitter
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

This edition has not yet been published

If available, why not choose another format from the 'Other Formats' box on the right.

Perfection`s Therapy - An Essay on Albrecht Durer`s Melencolia I by Mitchell B. Merback
  

Perfection`s Therapy - An Essay on Albrecht Durer`s Melencolia I

Notify me
when available

As soon as this book is published
we will send you an email.

Synopsis

Perfection`s Therapy - An Essay on Albrecht Durer`s Melencolia I by Mitchell B. Merback

A deft reinterpretation of the most zealously interpreted picture in the Western canon as a therapeutic artifact.Albrecht Durer's famous portrayal of creative effort in paralysis, the unsurpassed masterpiece of copperplate engraving titled Melencolia I, has stood for centuries as a pictorial summa of knowledge about the melancholic temperament, a dense allegory of the limits of earthbound arts and sciences and the impossibility of attaining perfection. Dubbed the image of images for being the most zealously interpreted picture in the Western canon, Melencolia I also presides over the origins of modern iconology, art history's own science of meaning. Yet we are left with a clutter of mutually contradictory theories, a historiographic ruin that confirms the mood of its object. In Perfection's Therapy, Mitchell Merback reopens the case file and argues for a hidden intentionality in Melencolia's opacity, its structural chaos, and its resistance to allegorical closure. That intentionality, he argues, points toward a fascinating possibility never before considered: that Durer's masterpiece is not only an arresting diagnosis of melancholic distress, but an innovative instrument for its undoing.Merback deftly resituates Durer's image within the long history of the therapeutic artifact. Placing Durer's therapeutic project in dialogue with that of humanism's founder, Francesco Petrarch, Merback also unearths Durer's ambition to act as a physician of the soul. Celebrated as the Apelles of the black line in his own day, and ever since as Germany's first Renaissance painter-theorist, the Durer we encounter here is also the first modern Christian artist, addressing himself to the distress of souls, including his own. Melencolia thus emerges as a key reference point in a venture of spiritual-ethical therapy, a work designed to exercise the mind, restore the body's equilibrium, and help in getting on with the undertaking of perfection.

About the Author

Mitchell B. Merback is Professor of History of Art at Johns Hopkins University.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

17th November 2017

Author

Mitchell B. Merback

More books by Mitchell B. Merback
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Zone Books

Format

Hardback
352 pages

Categories

Renaissance art
Individual artists, art monographs
Painting & paintings

ISBN

9781942130000

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools