Panel 45

Introduction | Guide: Hans Christian Hönes

Excessive and alarming events are depicted on this panel, according to the title given to it by Gertrud Bing. “Superlatives,” an “Over-exuberance of self-consciousness” and “loss,” are supposed to be conveyed by the images selected. All these events have to be understood as perilous threats against the possibility of a balanced state of mind. For Warburg's personal and cultural aim was to gain “scale and perspective for every process” [Maßstab und Gesichtspunkt für jeden Prozess] – an ideal synonymous with achieving metaphoric distance, or the logical ability to describe something as comparable to something else. This “how of the metaphor” [Wie der Metapher] is precisely what seems to get lost in the course of panel 45's visual argument.