• Odyssey frescos, panel 8 and 9, c. 40-50 AD, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, inv.41016 (Photo: Th. Poiss after M. L. Catoni 2008, ed., La forza del bello: l’arte greca conquista l’Italia. Milano 2008, pl. 59, p. 203)
    The Odyssey frescoes from the Esquiline hill are Panofsky’s main example for his notion of ancient perspective as providing a sense of “looking through” in his article "Perspective as Symbolic Form (1929)"| Image: Odyssey frescos, panel 8 and 9, c. 40-50 AD, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
  • The international conference of the research group (C-4) Pictorial Constructions of Space (s) deals with perspective and perspective in a comparative view of culture.
  • The ‘Book of Caverns’ in tomb TT 33 (room XVII, south wall) | Photo: Daniel A. Werning | © Daniel A. Werning
    The Ancient Egyptian "Book of Caverns" represents the ideas about the topographical structure of the underworld in a table-like diagrammatic form. Investigations resulted a set of hypotheses on the ancient ideas about the topology and topography of the netherworld and the sun god’s path through it.
The goal of the research group was to apply a diachronic perspective and a comparative-culture approach to the study of the construction of space through pictures.
12 Researchers
5 Research Projects
2 Dissertation Projects
28 Publications
6 Events
5 Cooperating partners

The group began with the fundamental questions under what historical conditions spatial phenomena come to be represented in pictures, how as a result of spatial and temporal shifts these phenomena come to be transformed, what techniques and conventions are applied in these transformations, and how the spatial in pictures corresponds to literary fiction. Of particular importance for these questions was the relation between space, knowledge and action, a relation which can only be clarified by determining which representations and models of spatiality in pictorial construction have been brought implicitly or explicitly to bear. This raises the additional question in what specific ways pictures and monuments, in their function as mental maps of spatial experiences, have represented organizing principles, value categories and shows of force, and thus how they have co-constructed, reflected and communicated knowledge of space and spatiality.

Research Projects