The Secret Lives of Art Works is a collection of essays on the phenomenon that viewers treat works of art as living beings: they attribute life, personhood and agency to them, kiss them, beat them, or claim that portraits look at viewers, and that statues move, breathe and speak. This volume engages in existent theories of these phenomena in art history, psychology, aesthetics and anthropology developed by the members of the Leiden ‘Art, Agency and Living Presence’ group. The Secret Lives of Art Works identifies new areas of research and presents the theoretical and historical account exploring the boundaries between ‘Art and Life’.
Prof. dr. Caroline van Eck is professor of Architectural History and Theory at Leiden University. Joris van Gastel is phd art historian and fellow at the Humbolt University of Berlin. Elsje van Kessel is PHD art historian and fellow at the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris.