The Crime of Passion: Warburg, Dürer, Orpheus
Christopher Wood has taught at Yale since 1992. He has received Harvard's Jacob Wendell Scholarship and Sheldon Fellowship, a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Fellowship, and a Morse Junior Faculty Fellowship from Yale. Professor Wood was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. In 2002 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a NEH Rome Prize Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. In fall 2004 he was Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2011-12 he was a Member of the School for Historical Studies of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; and a Senior Fellow at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna.
Albrecht Dürer depicted the death of the singer Orpheus at the hands of women—maenads or Bacchantes—outraged by his turn to same-sex love. Four hundred years later Aby Warburg, in a reading of Dürer’s drawing, introduced the concept of the Pathosformel, or “formula of passion,” as the basis for an imagined psychohistory of art. The talk, guided by clues in both the drawing and the interpretation, pursues the double problem of the representation (the accusatory cry) and the self-representation (the expressive cry) of passion.
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