Alfons Puigarnau presents the influence of Nietzsche’s philosophy on the Mnemosyne Atlas by Aby Warburg in Croatia

The UIC Barcelona School of Architecture lecturer on Critical Thinking and Aesthetics, Alfons Puigarnau, participated on May 30 in the Thirteenth International Conference of Iconographic Studies organised by the University of Rijeka (Croatia) together with the Universities of Macerata (Italy), Sapienza (Italy) and Split (Croatia).

Alfons Puigarnau presented a talk called “Aby Warburg and the Nietzsche effect”, where he delved into the influence that the German philosopher’s theories had on the work of Aby Warburg, founder of the Kulturwischenschafte Bibliotek, in London today. The UIC Barcelona lecturer therefore analysed the famous Mnemosyne Atlas, the key artistic historiography work that was the focus of Warburg’s final years and that continues to be controversial today, because of the complex iconographic analogies that the German historian outlined at the beginning of the last century. Puigarnau also took a closer look at the different interpretations that Nietzsche and Warburg had on the concept of the “future life of Antiquity”.

“These have been intense days thinking together about the meaning of Antiquity, also in our time. The classical world was also a special moment of globalisation. Getting to know the Centre for Iconographic Studies in Rijeka and their impactful publication IKON, which are internationally recognised, was a pending task for me”, asserts the lecturer, who was the only Spanish representative at the conference.

This new edition of the International Conference of Iconographic Studies was held on May 30 and 31, under the title “Afterlife of Antiquity. Case studies and new perspectives in Iconology” with the aim to analyse themes related to the continuity and discontinuity of the use of the classic tradition in art history and the reuse of antique models within specific historical contexts. Noteworthy speakers included Fabio Tononi, from the Warburg Institute in London, Doron Bauer, from Florida State University, Claudia Cieri Via, from Sapienza University, and Carlo Severi from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris.

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