Bernardino Branca


Volume 4, April 2023






Edgar Wind never published a systematic treatise concerning his art theory. His theoretical writings
—some still unpublished—are scattered through a series of papers written primarily during the
crucial period of 1930–33. This essay tries to reconstruct and interpret such papers, which share a
common feature: the interpretation of the Italian Renaissance as an attempt to find a balance or
equilibrium between ‘the essential forces of the human mind and its history’. In striving to perceive
these ‘essential forces’, Wind recognises the presence, in the ‘history of the European tradition’, of
an irreducible coexistence between the Apollonian and the Dionysian forces which drive the human
experience. To put it in Warburg’s words, the clash is between ‘Athens and Alexandria’, or ‘Logos’
and ‘Magic’. In Warburg’s footsteps, Wind continued the search for the ‘essential forces’ for the rest
of his life.

Nachleben der Antike; Renaissance; Symbols; Aby Warburg; Edgar Wind


The Edgar Wind Journal 4: 32-64, 2023
DOI: 10.53245/EWJ-000020
Copyright: © 2023 B. Branca. This is an open access, peer-reviewed article published by Bernardino Branca