"La Rivista di Engramma (open access)" ISSN 1826-901X

116 | maggio 2014


Mnemosyne reloaded

Engramma no. 116 Editorial 

by Monica Centanni, Daniela Sacco

English abstract


Under the title Mnemosyne Reloaded attributed to this issue of "Engramma", we refer to the reading, inexhausted and always challenging, that the Mnemosyne Atlas of Aby Warburg by its very nature, as a device of the cultural memory, has to offer. 

On October 31st, 1958, the bust of Aby Warburg was unveiled and placed in the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Gertrud Bing, who was Warburg’s closest collaborator, commemorated the occasion by holding a memorial lecture. In her words, official tones blended with memories of funny episodes and new aspects of the scholar’s life, providing a complete portrait of the man and of the Master. Bing’s text was published in an Italian translation in 1960. In this issue, we present the first English language edition, edited by Elizabeth Thomson, of the important article Aby M. Warburg by Gertrud Bing Italian new digital edition).

In this issue, we also publish the essay Metamorphoses of the virtues of Love in Medicean Florence (a reading of Table 39 in the Mnemosyne Atlas in an English translation); an analysis of Table 47 in the Mnemosyne Atlas: captions, image details and the paper The Angel and the Head-huntress. This is a further implementation of the Mnemosyne Atlas section launched in "Engramma’s" edition number 101 in November 2012, dedicated specifically to the Atlas. Both of the works on tables 39 and 47 of the Mnemosyne Atlas are edited by the Seminary of Classical Studies at the Iuav, University of Venice.

In a short introduction, Aby Warburg as architect, Giacomo Calandra di Roccolino recounts the details of the construction of Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg in Hamburg, in 1925. The design of the building was the fruit of a collaboration between Fritz Schumacher – the greatest architect in Hamburg at the time – Gerhard Langmaak and the client, Aby Warburg himself, who supervised the project in every detail. The heart of the Library, the elliptical reading and seminar room, reflects Warburg’s Weltanschauung and the method of working he invented for his scholarly team.

We finally present the book L'occhio alato. Migrazioni di un simbolo (The winded eye. Migration of a symbol), by Alberto Giorgio Cassani, published by Nino Aragno in 2014, which contains a series of studies dedicated to the interpretation of the “winged eye”, the emblem of Leon Battista Alberti. The text is introduced with an essay dedicated to images of the solar eye, by Massimo Cacciari, a longtime scholar of Alberti’s philosophical thought.

English abstract

Engramma issue no. 116 “Mnemosyne reloaded” includes contributions by Monica Centanni, Daniela Sacco, Elizabeth Thomson, Giacomo Calandra di Roccolino, Alberto Giorgio Cassani.


keywords | Warburg; Bing; Plate 47; Mnemosyne Atlas.