Volume 30, Issue 3, 2020
Comparative Culture Studies in Philosophy and Aesthetics
Comparative History of Images and Transcultural Imaginary
Jurgis Baltrušaitis’ Legacy
This essay examines Jurgis Baltušaitis’ writings and shows its connections with the works of Henri Focillon, Aby Warburg and Athanasius Kircher. Baltušaitis oriented his interdisciplinary analyses in art history and cultural studies. The essay aims to demonstrate the complexity and importance of Baltrušaitis’ ideas that are developed in the comparative research of medieval art history, depraved perspectives, aberrations and illusions. Those works are linked by the philosophy of image and imagination that stand at the crossroads between abstractness and concreteness, myth and history, reality and illusion, rational and irrational forces, the East and West. This article tries to shape Baltrušaitis’ legacy by offering an insight into his thinking which unites various research topics, typically excluded from positivistic studies. It reveals the underlying structures of cultural imaginary in which cross-cultural interactions take place. It argues for the revaluation of his oeuvre by attending to the theoretical concerns behind his historical research program.