CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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LÖRINCZ, Viktor Oliver (Co-Chair of Session 15)
Glossary of Scientific Terms Often Misunderstood in Art History A for Atmospheric and C for Creativity

Session 15 Creative Misunderstanding

Junior research fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences and Sasakawa Young Leader fellow.


In the book Fashionable Nonsense, Sokal and Bricmont criticise the use of scientific terms and concepts in the social sciences, humanities and philosophy. Art history is under a double pressure. Terms with scientific connotation, like fractal, gift, market, price, network, migration, affect, agent etc. are widely used in art history, partly because of the aura of the existing scientific term. On the other hand, several scientific methods are also used for dating or localising an object, or to examine aspects of visual perception

Although the interest in the overlapping territories is huge, the formulation of an empirical research hypothesis is very complicated. Experimental settings of science are designed for the present, so we don’t know how the non-random destruction of historical data can influence the validity of researches. Also, art history is rather interested in salient works, and this leads us to the problem of micronumerosity (i.e. the low number of observations) and sample selection bias in statistical methods.  

In our paper, on the basis of the psychology of creativity (e.g.  Kandel’s book, The Age of the Insight), we discuss the application of some terms like novelty or divergent thinking in art history. Using the example of the well-known “Illumination de Vincennes” of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (which lead him to write his First Discourse), and comparing it to Marc-Antoine Laugier’s shift in architectural theory, we discuss the role of the aha! moment in the creative artistic process. We apply other approaches of creativity too, for instance network theory.  Comparing Laugier’s and Rousseau’s initial state, we also present the applications of the methodologies of history of science in art history, like the rational reconstruction.

We discuss the deterministic character of cognition and understanding, presenting misunderstanding as a chance for creative achievement. We use the oeuvre of Caspar David Friedrich for this, presenting some ephemeral atmospheric phenomena in his paintings, in the context of scientific knowledge on meteorology, astronomy, colour theory and the physics of light. These examples show well, how misunderstanding can affect not only artistic creation but interpretation too, leading to new achievements.  

 LÖRINCZ, Viktor Oliver 


2007-present             Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris  & Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest Doctoral Candidate in Art History.

2007-present University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne & Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Law,

2012                University Paris 5 Descartes MA in Economic Psychology

2008                University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne MA in Comparative Law

2008               Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest MA in Art History           

2007                Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest Doctor iuris,       

Professional experience

2013                Ruprecht Karls Universität Heidelberg – IPR visiting researcher (Gastwissenschaftler)

2007                          High School of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts Teaching of Art History

2007               Dr. Miklos Benke’s law office Articled clerk                                                                                  

2006               Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Legal Department and Department of Drawings Trainee    

Language skills: Hungarian, French, German, English

Selected Publications, conferences

-        Legal Aspects of Cultural Heritage Conservation and Digitization 文化遗产保护与数字化所遇到的法律问题探讨 3rd International Symposium on Cultural Heritage Conservation and Digitization (CHCD) International Committee for Documentation of Cultural Heritage (ICOMOS-CIPA), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), School of Architecture, Tsinghua University (THUSA), Tsinghua Heritage Institute for Digitization (THID), Beijing, September 1-4, 2014

-        Places of expansion: hard core and protective belt in the architecture of the 18 century world system East European Art seen from Global Perspective: Past and Present. Lublin, Poland, October 24-27, 2014. organised by Prof. Piotr Piotrowski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, and by Waldemar Tatarczuk, Labyrinth Gallery, Lublin

-        (with Bálint Menyhért) Transmission of Value Through prices - Market Competition and Value Formation on the Art Market The 103rd Annual Conference of the College Art Association, February 11–14, 2015, New York.

-        Local Antiquities and Architecture in the 18th Century Central-Europe: The Case of Cardinal Migazzi and I.M.A. Ganneval - Diocletian's Palace in the works of Adam, Clérisseau and Cassas, Institute of Art History - Center Cvito Fiskovic in Split, Croatia, November 27 - 29, 2014

-        (with Mátyás Gödölle) [The Interior of the Mathias Church from West] (in Hungarian) In: Farbaky, et al. ed.: Mátyás-templom: A budavári Nagyboldogasszony-templom évszázadai (1246-2013) [The Mathias Church: the Centuries of the Church of Our Lady in the Buda Castle (1246-2013)] Budapest: Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, [Budapest History Museum] 2015. p. 716.

-        (with Prof. László Beke) French Connections The Innovation of the Methods of the Art History – Avant-Garde networks across and around the Mediterranean Civilisation(s): The Mediterranean and beyond, Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée, Marseille 26, 27 and 28 June 2014 Conference of the Comité International de l’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA) and of the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA)

-        Cultural Differences in Game Theory and the Comparative Law Third Annual Conference of The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law April 4-5, 2014, at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon

-        The Myth of Originality, the Copy, Reproduction and the Multiple in Art History and the Western Legal Tradition - A Comparative Approach,  In: Osano Shigetoshi (Ed.) Between East and West: Reproductions in Art: Proceedings of the CIHA Colloquium in Naruto, Japan, 15th – 18th January 2013. Krakow IRSA Publishing House, 2014. pp. 207-216.

-        La symbolique de la ’Porta Speciosa’ de la cathédrale d’Esztergom, et le statut juridique du primat-archevêque  La justice dans les cités épiscopales du Moyen Âge à la fin de l’Ancien Régime Centre toulousain d’histoire du droit et des idées politiques, Centre universitaire Jean-François Champollion, Mission de recherche Droit et Justice, de l’Institut catholique de Toulouse, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi, October 17-18 2013., Etudes d’histoire du droit et des idées politiques 19:(2) pp. 241-260. (2014)

-        [Parallel Lives - Ferenc Kemény - The Connecting Networks of Sport, Education, Pacifism and Art] In.: (Eds.: Beke, László; Németh, András; Vincze, Gabriella) MOZDULAT – magyar mozdulatművészet a korabeli társadalom és művészet tükrében Gondolat Kiadó Budapest, 2013 pp. 191-205.

-        Nuremberg Funnel for Art and Law - Das Kunstwerk als Objekt des Sachenrechtes – Nürnberger Trichter für Kunstrecht, Die Herausforderung des Objekts, 33. Internationaler Kunsthistoriker-Kongress, Comité International de l’Histoire de l’Art, Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 15-20 july 2012, Postgraduierten-Programm, [Poster]

-        “Neuroarthistory”, “Neuroarchitecture”, and the Perception of the Body. Iconology Old and New. Transregional Conference on the Move, Croatia and Hungary, Rijeka, Budapest, Szeged 23-31 May 2013

-        Is Art Reparable? The Laws of Art, Rules and Rituals  Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 19-20. April 2013.

-         [Color Theories in the 2nd Half of the 20th Century in the USA ] (in Hungarian) [Das Wissenschaftliche Spektrum der Farben] Goethe Institut Budapest, 6. October 2010