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The Atlas of Images by ABY WARBURG

Abraham Moritz “Aby” Warburg (1866-1929), was one of the most important art historian ever. Born from a wealthy family of German Jewish bankers (the family private bank still exist now in Hamburg) the young Aby snubbed the family business, turning his attention to the study of art. His work varied from symbology in Italian Renaissance painters as Botticelli or Ghirlandaio to ritual and cult of native American.

But his masterpiece (unfinished) is of course “Mnemosyne – The Atlas of Images” a huge collection of pictures he collected in order to set up a defintive encyclopedia of icons of all times. After almost a century of lack of interest on his monumental work, now an exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (open till March 28 2011, see the link below) gives him the deserved tribute.

Why a so serious issue for a freshly new magazine as Actually? First of all because the Aby’s work will be a permanent inspiration of what I will post on these pages. Second in order to keep well in mind that images and icons are much more important – read powerful – than people normally believe and, yet, they talk and say much more than words. Third, as a suggestion to everybody interested to build their very own “Atlas of Images” as an heritage for future generation.

“Gallery of Icons” is my personal tribute to Aby’s masterpiece. Stay tuned!

Gabriele Gattozi

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía website

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