Ecstasies: Representations of Ecstatic Sorrow and Ecstatic Joy

  • George L. Scheper
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 62)


A reader perusing the standard art history texts of European, American and Asian mainstream art looking for representations of ecstasy in any of its forms, might be surprised at how rarely any such images are encountered. But upon consideration of the ideological underpinnings of virtually all of the labelable movements in art history — Egyptian, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-classical in the West, Confucian, Buddhist, Hindu in the East — it becomes clear that we associate and in effect apprehend these movements primarily in terms of the societal and institutional milieux that provide the patronage and the setting for both the production and the “consumption” of what are for us the familiar and defining exempla of these various traditions. That is, to put it another way, the court, the church or the civic polis provide the locus of enunciation and the context of description of the largely public “high art” that essentially defines these traditions, and that when this public or institutional tradition is supplemented by examples of more “private art,” that usually involves examples of elite or (as in the Renaissance and 17th century) high bourgeois art and artifacts that still reflect the modes and forms of courtly, ecclesiastical or civic “high art” (the obvious exception, folk art, not usually being included in the standard art history corpus).


Gaping Mouth Ideological Underpinning Blood Sacrifice Labelable Movement Cologne Cathedral 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • George L. Scheper
    • 1
  1. 1.BaltimoreUSA

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