Life of Forms in Art by Henri FocillonOne of the most brilliant and important applications of biological metaphors to the study of art.
In this classic meditation on the problem of style in art history, Henri Focillon In this beautiful meditation on the history of art and the problem of style, Henri Focillon (1881-1943) describes how art forms change over time. Although he argues that the development of art is irreducible to external political, social, or economic determinants, one of his great achievements was to lodge a concept of autonomous formal mutation within the shifting domain of materials and techniques. Focillon emphasizes the presence of nonsynchronous tendencies within styles that give to artworks a manifold and stratified character.
The Life of Forms in Art remains one of the most brilliant and important reflections on the morphology of art. It has been superbly translated by George Kubler, whose book The Shape of Time was influenced by Focillon.The book also contains a critical introduction by Jean Molino.
Henri Focillon (1881-1943) taught at the Coll�ge de France and at Yale University. His books include Art of the West. Romanesque and Gothic (2 vols.), The Year 1000, Lart des sculpteurs romans, and Piero della Francesca.
Qu'est-ce que l'acte de création? par Gilles Deleuze sous-title français / sub. French
Vie des Formes
La vie des formes: Henri Focillon et les arts. Also Titled. Henri Focillon et les arts. Focillon, Henri, Other Authors. Lyon France. Henri Focillon. Presses Universitaires de France.
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The English version of Vie des Formes was exhausted so rapidly, and has become so inaccessible to students and amateurs, that the translators now take advantage of the hospitality of Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc. The translation has been emended in numerous places; more illustrations are added; and the essay, "Eloge de la main," written byFocillon at the time of the second French edition -- and printed with it -- appears for the first time in English, in a translation byS. Faison, Jr. The illustrations, as in the first English edition, refer to the sense of Focillon's discussion, rather than to specific works of art as mentioned in the text. The Vie des Formes was originally published in Paris in Since then there has been another French edition, and translations into Czech and Danish, although the latter exists only in manuscript. The present text is the first to appear in English.