The Invisible Masterpiece
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Invisible Masterpiece by Hans Belting
Book DescriptionThe 'invisible masterpiece' is an unattainable ideal, a work into which a dream of absolute art is incorporated but can never be realized. By means of this metaphor borrowed from Balzac, Hans Belting shows the variety of ways in which the status and meaning of the masterpiece have been elevated and denigrated since the early nineteenth century. The history of the masterpiece coincided with the history of the public museum. Leonardo's "Mona Lisa" and other celebrated paintings preoccupied later artists, who felt burdened by the one-time cult of the masterpiece as it had been transformed into the cult of visible works of art. Following Duchamp, artists became increasingly resistant to the notion of the masterpiece. Beginning in the 1960s, Conceptual and Minimal artists concentrated on ephemeral forms and manufactured multiple copies in order to reject the outmoded status of the one-off masterpiece and the art market that fed off it. "The Invisible Masterpiece" reveals works, events and individuals in the history of Western art in a wholly novel way.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781861891082
(234mm x 168mm x 31mm)
Imprint: Reaktion Books
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publish Date: 30-May-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Hans Belting
Face and Mask, Hardback (April 2017)
"First published in Germany under the title Faces: Eine Geschichte des Gesichts."
Hieronymus Bosch, Paperback (March 2016)
Now available in a new edition, this book explores Hieronymus Bosch's masterpiece Garden of Earthly Delights.
Anthropology of Images, Paperback (May 2014)View all books by Hans Belting
Proposes an anthropological theory for interpreting human picture making. Refusing to reduce images to their material embodiment yet acknowledging the importance of the historical media in which images are manifested, this book presents a challenging and provocative account of what pictures are and how they function.
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Author Biography - Hans Belting
Hans Belting is Professor of Art History and Media Theory at the Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, Germany, and Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York. He is the author of Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art (1994).
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