The Easel

Archives: The New York Times

23rd June 2020

This Atlas of Art and Memory Is a Wonder of the Modern World

Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas is “an anatomy of human gesture”. Warburg wanted to show that images are “viral”, unable to be contained within their historical moment. Instead, they transmit ideas across time. With images as various as ancient art, Renaissance frescoes, photos of zeppelins and astrological diagrams the Atlas is about how memory functions across the millennia of human civilization.