chapter  5
The Kinetic Icon and the Work of Mourning: Prolegomena to the Analysis of a Textual System
ByAnnette Michelson
Pages 18

The following introductory passage appears at the beginning of Panofsky’s lectures on funerary art, published in 1964 as Tomb Sculpture:

An art historian can approach the subject of these lectures only with the greatest trepidation. Trespassing upon the preserve of many adjacent disciplines (classical and oriental archeology, Egyptology, the history of religion and superstition, philosophy and several others), he has to rely largely on secondary sources and often finds himself confronted with a diversity of opinions, at times about crucial points which he, as a rank outsider, cannot presume to evaluate…. To make things worse there is hardly any sphere of human experience where rationally incompatible beliefs so easily coexist and where prelogical, one might also say metalogical, feelings so stubbornly survive in periods of advanced civilization as in our attitude towards the dead.1