Pächt´s well-known, fundamental text approaches art history by means of analyses of works of art and exploration of the theories of major thinkers, yet emphasizes on showing the student and general reader alike how to practise art history in their own encounters with works of art.
Here, for the first time in English, is Pächt´s well-known, fundamental text, Methodisches zur Kunsthistorischen Praxis. Pächt´s approach to art history is shaped by his conviction that visual art, like music, can say things in its own medium that cannot be said in any other. He aims to sharpen our perceptions by recreating the social and cultural context in which an object was made, clarifying unfamiliar notions of space and time or significant gestures and symbols which are no longer recognizable. Each part of Pächt´s analysis is illustrated by reference to a specific manuscript, painting, building or sculpture, and his examples range fro medieval and Renaissance art through to the works of Rembrandt. He explores the theories of major thinkers from Riegl, Wölfflin and Croce to Panofsky and Gombrich. But the emphasis always returns to the activity of looking, and Pächt´s greatest achievement is in showing the student and general reader alike how to practise art history in their own encounters with works of art.