Volume 64, Issue 3, Summer 2020
Special Topic: Vulnerability
A Discussion on Heidegger’s “Über die Sixtina”
In 1955, Raphael’s Sistine Madonna was returned to Germany following its removal from Dresden in anticipation of the city being bombed. That same year Heidegger wrote a short paper titled “Über die Sixtina,” likely to commemorate the painting’s return. The goal of this article is to bring the largely overlooked “Über die Sixtina” into discussions about Heidegger’s philosophy of art. While brief, Heidegger’s paper makes clear that the Sistine Madonna is an important work to consider when deliberating about his philosophy of art in general. This article elaborates on the topics Heidegger discusses in “Über die Sixtina,” particularly the image-being of the Sistine Madonna, the image as a window painting, and the place of the painting.