On Richard Wollheim

British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):213-225 (2004)
There was a deep continuity in Wollheim’s thought from his book on F. H. Bradley onward. His notion of the concept of art as deeply interiorized was inextricable from his sense of the psychological unity of the mind and the historical continuity of artistic tradition, seen on analogy with an inherited language. His study of pictorial representation pivoted on the innate psychological capacity of ‘seeing-in’, perceiving the represented subject in a surface from which it was seen as distinct but to which it could be related. The expressiveness of depiction he explained through a psychoanalytic concept of projection in which we come to see a piece of the external world as corresponding to an inward state of mind. He reserved the use of the term ‘imagination’ for the artist’s elaboration of ‘seeing-in’. This he exemplified in accounts of painting by Manet, Friedrich, Titian, and Ingres among others. His critical stance has a close affinity with certain essays by Pater.
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