Memoria et monumentum: Vojtěch Birnbaum's 'Baroque Principle' and Antonín Engel's 'The Essence of Monumentality'
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2015, vol. 64, iss. 2, pp. 108-121
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
The article focuses on the relationship between two works of art theory: 'The Baroque Principle in the History of Architecture', written in 1924, and 'The Essence of Monumentality', written in 1944. It highlights possible theoretical references to the work of Czech art historian Vojtěch Birnbaum in the first half of the 1920s that can be found later in the ideas of Czech architect Antonín Engel in the first half of the 1940s. When the first edition of Birnbaum's study was published there was almost no response to its theoretical content. The work was viewed primarily as an attempt to rehabilitate the baroque as a concept and to understand the creative essence of the baroque. This article seeks to show that the Baroque principle was met with a response and began to spread after the publication of the second edition of the work in 1941, which seemed to get fit in the events of the 1940s. As Antonín Engel's Essence of Monumentality in Architecture implied in 1944, Birnbaum's 1924 theory, which discussed the need to tap into cultural memory and to work with it through the individuality of the artist in a baroque way as the natural direction of artistry, was met with recognition twenty years after it was first published.