Studies in Western Art No.17
Memory and Oblivion

November, 2013
●2900YEN + TAX



Special Issue

A Roundtable Discussion on Memory and Oblivion in the Middle Ages

Yuichi Akae / Hisako Koike / Takami Matsuda / Motokazu Kimata / Toshiharu Nakamura


Toshihiro Osada
The Gift to the Gods, the Memorial of the Mortals
The Parthenon Frieze as a Votive Offering

In recent studies the Parthenon Frieze has tended to be seen as a reflection of the civic values of democratic Athens. According to these studies the temple and its ornamentation serves as a self-portrait of the institution and Periklean culture as demos . This paper challenges such interpretations, and explains the divine imagery in the context of votive culture, clarifying the religious background of the rituals.

Kaoru Adachi
Artist as Mnemonist
Memory, Idea, and Maniera in the Italian Renaissance

The art historian Daniel Arasse has championed classical mnemonics as constituting the essential visual logic of Europe since ancient times, and has understood it as an important key for interpreting Italian Renaissance art. Using Arasse's suggestions as a starting point, this paper traces the traditional trajectories of mnemonics found in Italian Renaissance art through literary sources. The concept of the artist as mnemonist finds a parallel in the works of Renaissance mnemonist Giulio Camillo, Trattato di imitatione and Idea della Eloquenza . These texts can be synchronized with sixteenth-century trends among artists and in art theory that enabled creative licenza outside of a guild context.

Michiko Fukaya
“Memory” in the Art Literature of 17th-Century Netherlands
On the Function of Memory in the Process of Making Paintings

How does memory function in the process of making paintings in 17th-century Netherlands, a period generally associated with “naturalism” or “realism” in the history of art? What relationships does it have with the process of drawing or painting after nature? This article treats these issues, reconsidering the key concepts “nae t'leven” and “uyt den gheest” and referring to the texts written by Karel van Mander and Samuel van Hoogstraten. It also explores the underlying thought of these texts by examining the ways in which artists who are said to have had great memory are praised.

Koji Kuwakino
Remember Heaven and Hell
The Influence of Visual Art on Cosma Rosselli's Thesaurus artificiosae memoriae (1579)

The art of memory is an ancient technique developed in the tradition of Western rhetoric, based on the effective combination of mental places and images. This art, which allows one to systematically preserve and remember an enormous amount of information, became very popular in the sixteenth century. This paper analyzes Cosmas Rosselli's Thesaurus artificiosae memoriae of 1579, a highly significant mnemonic treatise that until now has not been seriously studied, focusing especially on the relationship between its representations of hell and paradise and contemporary visual art.

Junko Aono
Memorializing the Golden Age
Simplicity or Refinement? The Import of Subject Choice in Early Eighteenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting

A survey of early eighteenth-century Dutch genre painting reveals that artists borrowed motifs and subject matter from the works of seventeenth-century genre painters. This raises an essential question: did these painters blindly repeat popular themes depicted by their renowned predecessors, or was their choice of subjects, in fact, founded upon their own criteria? This paper positions the early eighteenth century as the first to recognize seventeenth-century art as the legacy of the Golden Age, and it gives new insight into the way in which painters consciously selected and adapted subjects to the new artistic environment of this post-Golden Age era.

Michiko Izumi
How can the History of a Nation's Art be Told? A Study of the Retrospective Exhibition of French Art at the 1900 World Fair

The retrospective exhibition is closely related to the rise of nationalism in the second half of the 19th century. This form of exhibition developed in the era of the world fair. This article explores how the history of national art was described in retrospective exhibitions held in world's fairs since 1867. The retrospective organized at the Petit Palais in 1900 presented a new concept for the history of French art, which Emile Molinier, a curator of the Louvre, conceived after examining the past exhibitions.

Fumiko Nakamura
Expressing Unrevealed and Concealed Memories
On the Work of Christian Boltanski

What form might be used to express memories of the past? How is it possible to deal with our memories? Today, with the heightened awareness that has emerged in regard to preserving new memories for successive generations, these questions have become extremely significant. While referring to these questions, in this paper I consider the work of Christian Boltanski. I would like to investigate the extent to which it is possible to confront the past based not on an attempt to faithfully reconstruct or orally transmit memories but on the impossibility of such acts.


State of Research

Christian Heck
Translation by Eiko Yoshida

Grunewald et Huysmans: entre la redecouverte et le mythe


Book Review

Kimata Motokazu
E. V. del Alamo, C. S. Pendergast (eds.), Memory and the Medieval Tomb



Edited by Michiko Izumi


The Others

Exhibition Review

Fumika Araki
Filippino Lippi e Sandro Botticelli nella Firenze del ‘400 (Rome, 2011-2012)


Masahiko Mori
Painting /Cinema /Transmediality