Enfilade

New Title | ‘Pygmalion in Bavaria’

Posted in books by Editor on March 13, 2012

From Penn State UP:

Christiane Hertel, Pygmalion in Bavaria: The Sculptor Ignaz Günther and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Art Theory (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2011), 344 pages, ISBN: 9780271037370, $100.

In Pygmalion in Bavaria, Christiane Hertel introduces the sculptor Ignaz Günther, placing him in the historical context of Bavarian Rococo art and Counter-Reformation religious visual culture. She also considers the remarkable aesthetic appeal of Günther’s oeuvre—and connects it to the eighteenth-century art theory that focused on sculpture and the creative paradigm of Pygmalion. Through this interweaving of contexts and discourses, Hertel offers insights into how Rococo art’s own critical dimension positions it against the Enlightenment and introduces a particular notion of subjectivity.

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“This is an extraordinary book. Extraordinary is Hertel’s command of eighteenth-century aesthetic art theory, extraordinary her command of Bavarian Rococo art, especially the art of Ignaz Günther, and extraordinary the depth of her understanding of the religious culture of eighteenth-century Bavaria. Pygmalion in Bavaria may seem to be a book for a small number of specialists. But the spell of Ignaz Günther’s art should ensure that this unusually engaging text will find the readers that it deserves and will help secure, in the English-speaking world, Günther’s place among the major artists of the eighteenth century.” —Karsten Harries, Yale University

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