The Writing of History and Return of Language: Art History as An Explanation Object-On Hubert Damsich’s “A Theory of /Cloud/”
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 8, Issue 3, May 2020, Pages: 162-168
Received: Feb. 27, 2020; Accepted: Mar. 16, 2020; Published: Apr. 23, 2020
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Chai Dongdong, Department of Cultural Creativity, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, China
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Giving a methodological and ontological explanation to the art history is the core thought of “a theory of /cloud/” of Hubert Damisch. It shows that there is no uniform explanation for art history. And the explanation of art history can only be placed in the framework of history. Language is the main reason for this, because it is historical, and through it the art history can be narrated and explained. As an explanatory activity, art history needs to plan a historical horizon which is different from the present, and integrate with the current horizon to explain historical events. Therefore, all art history is bound to be a historical explanation. This is the logic of why art history needs to be constantly renovated. On the other hand, because art history is inseparable from language, it must rely on linguistic methods in the specific analysis process. Taking this as his starting point, Damisch takes semiotics as the dominant method of explaining the art history. In his eyes, semiotics, as a method of combining meaning reading and characterization analysis, can effectively reconcile the contradiction between formal analysis and iconology. Not only that, the symbol as a kind of representation of representation can also make the painting back to the field of representation. Because representation is the basic purpose of painting. As a symbol, cloud precisely emphasizes that painting should pay attention to representation. And the sensibility and materiality of cloud in painting indicates that the painterly should become the mainstream of the representation. This kind of painterly is exactly what “A Theory of /Cloud/” aims to reveal. According to this, the painterly of painting should become the main focus of the writing of art history.
Theoretical Object, Art History, A Theory of /Cloud/, Art Semiotics
To cite this article
Chai Dongdong, The Writing of History and Return of Language: Art History as An Explanation Object-On Hubert Damsich’s “A Theory of /Cloud/”, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Special Issue: Humanity and Science: China’s Intercultural Communication with the Outside World in the New Era. Vol. 8, No. 3, 2020, pp. 162-168. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20200803.19
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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