Dr Claudia Wedepohl, Archivist of the Warburg Institute, will be giving a talk on the ideas of the famed founder of the Institute which bears his name on Tuesday 20 October from 18.00-19.00 in the Library’s Seng Tee Lee Seminar Room.
Her talk From Cossa to Kepler: Aby Warburg’s cosmology will explore the following:
‘Aby Warburg, art historian and theorist of culture, defined the Renaissance as the human being’s attempt to liberate itself from heteronomy in order to gain autonomy. As a metaphorical thinker Warburg saw this process reflected in the relationship between the individual and the cosmos as it manifested itself in the world of images with symbolic meaning: from the astrological calendar in the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua to Raphael’s School of Athens and beyond. In this paper I shall reconstruct the genesis of Warburg’s notion of an ever more abstract and thus calculable idea of the cosmos through classical knowledge in the early modern period and, in analogy, the individual’s discovery of the power over its own fate.’