This is an exploration of the moving image in psychoanalysis and art history in the early 20th century. The 20th century seemed destined, according to one art historian, to become not an age of reason, but a visual age in which images would afford more enlightenment and intellectual pleasure than the written or spoken word. Writing in 1948, Fritz Saxl was referring not only to the rise of cinematic art, but also to a major transformation in the way his predecessors had begun to view culture in general - as a process of image-making. In this text, Louis Rose offers an exploration of these changes as they occurred in three key areas of inquiry at the turn of the century: art history, classics, and the emerging field of psychoanalysis. Approaching all three fields as cultural sciences, Rose compares their shared interests in cultural surfaces and depths, in what is evident and what is hidden. In all three he aims to reveal a rudimental concern with the links among image, drama, and movement. On the one hand, art historians, classicists, and psychoanalysts sought to relate the creations of artists to the products of collective cultural enactments such as ritual, and theatre. On the other, they explored the creative and psychological process by which mental images became translated into visual pictures conveying life and motion.
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