Erwin Panofsky

Erwin Panofsky

German and American historian and art theorist, teacher
Date of Birth: 30.03.1892
Country: Germany

Biography of Erwin Panofsky

Erwin Panofsky, a German and American art historian, theorist, and educator, made significant contributions to the field of art history through his studies on iconology. He viewed iconology as a branch of art history that examines the subject or meaning of artworks rather than their form. According to Panofsky, art historians should be able to identify the various ways in which important human thoughts and movements were expressed in different historical contexts.
Erwin Panofsky was born on March 30, 1892, in Hanover, Germany. In 1914, he defended his dissertation at the University of Freiburg and went on to teach in Hamburg from 1921 to 1933. In 1931, he received an invitation to deliver a lecture series at New York University and subsequently traveled to the United States. Following the rise of the Nazis to power in 1933, Panofsky remained in the US, like many of his compatriots. He taught at New York University and later at Princeton University, becoming a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1935. After leaving this position in 1962, he held a professorship at New York University until his death in 1968. Panofsky was renowned for his brilliant lectures and teaching abilities, and he had numerous students.
Among Panofsky's early works, written in Germany, is an essay on Albrecht Dürer's engraving "Melancholia." However, the majority of his books and articles were written in English once he was in the US. His first work created in America, "Studies in Iconology" (1939), examines the iconography of subjects such as the personification of time and the blind Cupid, as well as Neoplatonic ideas in Renaissance art. Over the next twenty-five years, Panofsky wrote several more articles and books on iconology. These include the monograph "Pandora's Box" (1956), co-authored with his first wife, as well as the article "Iconography of Correggio's Camera di San Paolo" (1961). In addition to his iconological works, Panofsky also explored art theory in publications such as "The Codex Huygens and the Art Theory of Leonardo da Vinci" (1940) and "Galileo as a Critic of Art" (1954). He is also well-known for his seminal research on Albrecht Dürer (1943), Dutch art of the 15th century (1953), and the Renaissance and Renaissance movements in Western European art (1960).

© BIOGRAPHS