In: KulturPoetik 2017, Heft 1
Vibrierendes Sehen. Simmels Rembrandt und die Kontingenz des kunstwissenschaftlichen Blicks
Georg Simmel’s art philosophical essay Rembrandt, published in the year 1916, has often been described as the document of a waning bourgeois culture. While the philosopher and sociologist remains famous for his astute analyses of the modern age of distraction and social differentiation up to today, in this late work he obviously tried to regain an aesthetics of holistic experience. Although this critical estimation seems to be justified, it has also masked to a certain extent the fact that Simmel worked on a language for art historical research which would be capable of grasping the diverse ways in which painted images can elicit in the viewer visual experiences of movement, of temporality, of contingency and of a general destabilization of perception.