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FROM NOTHING, FROM AN “IDEA”: BARBARA BAERT’S ICONOLOGY OF IMMERSIONS AND TRANSITIONS

Review of: Barbara Baert, Pneuma and the Visual Medium in The Middle Ages and Early Modernity. Essays on Wind, Ruach,  Incarnation, Odour, Stains, Movement, Kairos, Web And Silence, Leuven-Paris-Bristol, Peeters, 2016

 

Vlad Ionescu

 

The following article discusses the iconological research of prof. dr. Barbara Baert (Francquis Chair 2016) on the Pneuma, a motif that includes breath, wind, ruach, odour, stains, movement and silence. It is based on her latest publication Pneuma and the Visual Medium in the Middle Ages and Early Modernity. Essays on Wind, Ruach, Incarnation, Odour, Stains, Movement, Kairos, Web and Silence (Peeters, 2016), a book that is related to her broader iconological research. The author argues that the value of prof. Baert’s approach consists in inventing an iconological method where meaning emerges from its relation to the latent sensitive potential of artworks. Baert's method subtly integrates iconology into a phenomenology of all the senses, from smell to touch and hearing.