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By Catherine M. Soussloff

This is often the 1st e-book to research the artist's biography as a rhetorical shape and literary style instead of as an unassailable resource of truth and information.

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Indeed, it is precisely this sort of unconventional cultural hero that we often encounter in contemporary representations of the artist. Here is an acute example of the relationship of the content of the form to our understanding of the concept "artist" today. These assumptions about On the Threshold of Historiography I 41 the artist inherent in the form, biography, adhere in history writing too, as the following chapters demonstrate. "68 In the Renaissance Lives of artists, this "rubbing smooth" of praxis and ethos can be considered quite literally as the conjoining of the description of what the artist does or makes with discussion of his moral and ethical behavior as a professional craftsman and as an individual.

46 Quite literally in the art historical discourse, then, the "giveness" of the name speaks. The constructedness of the name in the discourse on the Nicodemus, for example, cannot be questioned, only recognized as a mark of the "act" of the sculpture itself. Names and naming in the biographies of artists and the discourse of art history become performative of the process of art making itself. Thus, at the end of the biography of the artist, when the performance ends in death, it is the body, rather than the name of the artist, that becomes emphasized.

Naming the political stakes involved is also extremely important in understanding the disciplinary formation of art history in this century when it continues to view Art and Illusion as a foundational text. Some of the historical specifics of the politics are discussed in chapter 5, which deals with the diaspora of the Viennese Jewish art historians, Gombrich among them. " Popper identifies historicism with theories of historical destiny. By dismissing the political extremes of fascism and communism, even by setting them up as polar opposites, Popper dismisses the possibilities that the methods of historicism held for other kinds of politically invested history.

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