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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Ediţia nr.3 din 2005-2006  

Autori:  VLAD ŢOCA.
  Rezumat:  Coriolan Petranu and his Methodology. Coriolan Petranu (1893-1945) was the first Romanian art historian in Transylvania. He was educated in the famous Vienna School of art history between 1913 and 1918. He started his career in the dramatic years following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. His main field of interest was Romanian art in Transylvania which he saw as constituted of two distinct parts: the high art and the folk art, both of equal importance. He was very much influenced by the writings of his professor, Josef Strzygowski. He has adopted his method that derived from the positivist historical and philological one used by many European historians. This method replaced the written documents as the most important source with visual material (monuments). This method offered Petranu the certainty of a scientific approach to the study of art and also in other polemical or popularizing works. But together with this method Petranu adopted many of his ideas, many of them being used by other scholars of the Vienna School. Most of these are in fact ideas elaborated by Strzygowski’s predecessor Aloïs Riegl. Among them is the very important concept of Kunstwollen. This concept became central to his work and allowed him to elaborate a theory regarding the originality of Romanian art that states there is an immanent power within the Romanian people that demands the use of specific forms. It is not clear why Petranu did not acknowledge the origin of this idea and never quoted Riegl in his works. A possible explanation is the rivalry between his professor and Max Dvořák chair of the other department of the Vienna University. The later was seen as the direct successor of Riegl from an intellectual point of view and therefore his disciples and himself ignored him completely. On the other hand Strzygowski’s theory of the ethnographic origin of art was used by Petranu to demonstrate the continuity of the Romanian people in the Carpathian basin and the seminal role of this art in the region. Petranu, like many non German disciples of the Vienna School used the same cosmopolitan ideas meant to justify the existence of the multiethnic Danubian Monarchy in developing a new art history of Transylvanian Romanians. He did so trying to establish a relationship between the national art of the Romanians with the development of the general history of art transferring the methods used for the study of western art to that of his country.  
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