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price: 42 euro
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year: 2020
isbn: 9789042941915
e-isbn: 9789042941922
pages: XVI-109 p.
The Fortune of Gertrud Bing (1892-1964)
A Fragmented Memoir of a Phantomlike Muse

Sie stand anderen zur Seite und wußte sie zu inspirieren. It is clear that Ernst H. Gombrich saw Gertrud Bing (1892-1964) as the muse in the circle of scholars around Aby M. Warburg (1866-1929). Others have compared her to the figure of the nymph, which was essential to Warburg’s thought. Indeed, with Warburg’s fascination for the ninfa fiorentina, a picturing of ‘the feminine’ enters into the centre of his thinking. However, Warburg almost never voiced opinions about the role of gender in the structure of society. Nor does it seem that he actually admitted women to his intellectual universe. Gertrud Bing, it turns out, was the rare exception.

Who was Gertrud Bing and what was her personal contribution to Warburg’s scientific project? This essay intends to map the agency of Gertrud Bing, in a way that she herself would have probably preferred. According to her, the ideal biography ought to merge the personal with the intellectual, since, what one experiences as a human being will also find its way into the academic oeuvre one leaves behind.