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2012 | 37 | 69-80

Article title

Lech Kalinowski (1920-2004)



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This article is devoted to the research methods of Lech Kalinowski (b. and d. Cracow). An exponent of the Cracow University art. historical scene, he remains one of the most influential representatives of the discipline in post-war Poland. This study is based on an analysis of his published works combined with elements of his biography, as well as on information gathered during interviews with his colleagues. The scholar is portrayed as an art historian who in his work consistently used terms and categories specific to the era and environment in which the given work was created. He was one of the first researchers to successfully include elements of the history of artistic doctrines in his interpretations. According to earlier authors who wrote about Lech Kalinowski, he is an art historian who made use of the method of iconological interpretation. At the same time, Kalinowski analysed works of art not only from the point of view of their ideological, but also their artistic content. He therefore belonged to the class of iconologists sensitive to the form, acknowledging that it is an important vehicle of meaning. Not only was he one of the first to introduce the method of iconographic analysis in Poland, as utilised by the majority of Polish historians in the second half of the twentieth century, but he was one of the few who were able to develop it creatively. The principles applied by the scholar when examining a work of art can be summarized in three points: first, check; second, look; third, take care of language. Accordingly, at the centre of his investigations, the Cracow scholar always placed the work of art itself, which he carefully examined, measured and described.







Physical description


  • AGH Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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