Bernardino Branca                                                                  University of Kent, UK


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—some still unpublished—are scattered through a series of papers written primarily during the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



Anderson, Jaynie, ‘Wind on Gombrich on Warburg’, in The Edgar Wind Journal, 3 (2022).

Anderson, Jaynie, Branca, Bernardino and Tononi, Fabio, eds, Edgar Wind: Art and Embodiment (Oxford: Peter Lang, forthcoming in 2023).

Branca, Bernardino, Edgar Wind, filosofo delle immagini: La biografia intellettuale di un discepolo di Aby Warburg (Milan: Mimesis, 2019).

—— Edgar Wind’s Raphael Papers, (Wroclaw: Amazon Fulfillment, 2020).

—— ‘The Giordano Bruno Problem: Edgar Wind’s 1938 Letter to Frances Yates’, in The Edgar Wind Journal, 2021.

—— ‘Edgar Wind: Metaphysics Embodied in Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling’ in Edgar Wind: Art and Embodiment, ed. by J. Anderson, B. Branca and F. Tononi (Oxford: Peter Lang, forthcoming in 2023).

Burckhardt, Jacob, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1858), tr. by S.G.C. Middlemore, (London: Penguin Books, 1990).

Ceri-Via, Claudia and Forti, Micol, (edited) Aby Warburg e la Cultura Italiana, (Milan: Mondadori Education,2009).

De Felice, Renzo, Breve Storia del Fascismo (Turin: Einaudi 1997).

——Mussolini e il Fascismo, Vol. 9, Storia degli Ebrei Italiani sotto il Fascismo (Turin: Einaudi 1993).

Didi-Huberman, Georges, L’Image Survivante, Histoire de l’Art et Temps de fantômes selon Aby Warburg (Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 2002).

Dilthey, W., Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, Gesammelte Schriften (Leipzig: 1922).

Dvořák, Max, Kunstgeschichte als Geistesgeschichte (Munich: Piper & Co, 1928).

Gentile, Giovanni, Giordano Bruno e il Pensiero del Rinascimento (1920).

—–– Studi sul Rinascimento (1923).

—— Il Pensiero Italiano del Rinascimento (1939).

Gilbert, Creighton, ‘Edgar Wind as Man and Thinker’, in New Criterion Reader, 3(2) (1984).

Gombrich, Ernst, Aby Warburg, an Intellectual Biography (London: Phaidon 1970, 1986).

—— In Search for Cultural History, the P.M. Denecke Lecture, (1967) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969).

Levine, Emily, Dreamland of Humanists, Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky and the Hamburg School (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Moss, Myra E., Mussolini’s Fascist Philosopher: Giovanni Gentile Reconsidered (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017).

Nagel, Ernest (Columbia University), ‘Review of Edgar Wind Das Experiment und die Metaphysik’, in The Journal of Philosophy, 31 (1934).

Panofsky, Erwin, Studies in Iconology (1939) (New York: Routledge, 2018).

Panofsky, Erwin, ‘The History of Art’, in The Cultural Migration: The European Scholar in America, ed. by Erwin Panofsky (Princeton: Princeton U.P., 1953).

Rasch, Martin, Juden und Emigranten machen deutsche Wissenschaft’, in Völkischer Beobachter, 5 January 1935.

Rickert, H., Kulturwissenschaft und Naturwissenschaft (1899).

Saxl, Fritz, ‘The History of the Warburg Library’, in Ernst Gombrich, Aby Warburg, an Intellectual Biography (London: Phaidon 1970, 1986).

Schneider, Pablo, ‘Edgar Wind: a Mind Naturalized in Antiquity’ in Edgar Wind: Art and Embodiment, ed. by Anderson, J. Branca, B., Tononi, F. (Oxford: Peter Lang, forthcoming in 2023).

Thomas, Ben, Edgar Wind and Modern Art (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

—— ‘Freedom and Exile: Edgar Wind and the Congress for Cultural Freedom’ in The Edgar Wind Journal 1: 67-85, 2021.

Tononi, Fabio and Branca, Bernardino, ‘Introduction: Edgar Wind and a New Journal’, in The Edgar Wind Journal, 1 (2021).

Viola, Tullio, ‘Philosophy of Culture: Naturalistic or Transcendental? A Dialogue between Edgar Wind and Cassirer’ in Edgar Wind: Art and Embodiment, ed. by Anderson, J., Branca B., and Tononi, F. (Oxford: Peter Lang, forthcoming in 2023).

Warburg, Aby, Astrologica, Saggi e Appunti 1908-1929, (Turin: Einaudi, 2019).

Warburg, Aby, The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity. Contribution to the Cultural History of the European Renaissance (1932), tr. by D. Britt (Los Angeles: The Getty Research Institute Publication Programs, 1999).

—— Gesammelte Schriften, 2 (1932).

Wind, Edgar, ‘292a Experimental’, in Smith College Bullettin (1953).

—— Ästhetischer und kunstwissenschaftlicher Gegenstand. Ein Beitrag zur Methodologie der Kunstgeschichte, ed. by Pablo Schneider (Hamburg: Philo Fine Arts, 2011).

—— Art and Anarchy (New York: Alfred. A. Knopf, 1964).

—— A Bibliography of the Survival of the Classics (London: Cassel&CO, 1934).

—— Die Bildsprache Michelangelos, ed. by Pablo Schneider (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2017).

—— The Eloquence of Symbols, ed. by J. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983).

—— Experiment and Metaphysics, towards a Resolution of the Cosmological Antinomies, trans. by C. Edwards, introduced by M. Rampley (Oxford: Legenda, 2001).

—— ‘Humanitätsidee und heroisiertes Porträt in der englischen Kultur des 18. Jahrhunderts’, in England und die Antike, Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg (1930–1931), ed. by Fritz Saxl (Leipzig and Berlin: B. G. Teubner, 1932).

—— Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Imagery, ed. by Jaynie Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).

—— ‘Maccabean Histories in the Sistine Ceiling. A Note on Michelangelo’s Use of the Malermi Bible’, in Italian Renaissance Studies, ed. by E.F. Jacob (London: Faber and Faber,1960).

—— ‘Michelangelo’s Prophets and Sibyls’ in Proceedings of the British Academy, 51 (1965).

—— ‘Microcosm and Memory’, The Times Literary Supplement (30 May 1958).

—— The School of Athens (1950), in Bernardino Branca, Edgar Wind’s Raphael Papers: The School of Athens (Wroclaw: Amazon Fulfilment, 2020).

—— ‘Some Points of Contact between History and Science’, in Philosophy and History: Essays, presented to Ernst Cassirer, ed. by R. Klibansky and H. Paton (1936) (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1963).

——‘Theios Phobos (Laws, II, 67ID). On Plato’s Philosophy of Art’ (1932), in Wind, The Eloquence of Symbols, ed. by J. Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983.

—— ‘The Warburg Institute Classification Scheme’, in The Library Association Record (London: May 1935).

Wind, Edgar, Meier, H., Newald, R.,   eds, ‘Einleitung’, in Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliographie zum Nachleben der Antike. Erster Band: Die Erscheinungen des Jahres 1931, herausgegeben von der Bibliothek Warburg (Berlin/Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1934).

—— A Bibliography on the Survival of the Classics, First Volume, The Publications of 1931 (London: Cassel & Co. and The Warburg Institute, 1934).

Wölfflin, Heinrich, Principles of Art History (1915), trans. by Jonathan Blower (Los Angeles: J.Paul Getty Trust, 2015).

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