Johanna Schiffler


Johanna Schiffler, M.A.


Research Project

Landscape painting around the year 1900

Around the year 1900, artists such as Ferdinand Hodler, Adolph Hölzel, Gustav Klimt, Piet Mondrian and Felix Valloton created pictures in which space in the landscape was no longer organised by a central perspective, but rather decoratively as an ornamental and rhythmic interaction of colour and form elements. This doctoral project is dedicated to landscape painting at the turn of the century, with the aim of examining, for the first time, the mediating function of the various techniques of decorative formalisation—thus far regarded by research mainly in terms of the development in modernist abstract painting of an auto-reflexive production of meaning—in relation to the dynamic and subjectively experienced perception of landscape and thus also in relation to the historical context in terms of the image and culture, as well as the contemporaneous discourse around theories of perception.


Johanna Schiffler studied History of Art and Modern German Literature at EHESS in Paris and at Humboldt-University in Berlin. In 2009/10 she completed an internship at the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris. Her master’s thesis in 2013 was on the drawings of Victor Hugo as influenced by ancient image theory and the natural philosophy of Lukrez. From 2011 to 2013 she was a student research assistant and scholarship holder at the Collegium for the Advanced Studies of “Picture Act and Embodiment”. From 2013 to 2015 she was a member of the research project “Ikonische Formprozesse”, Institute of Art and Visual Studies, Humboldt-University and from 2014 to 2016, a research scholar at the Cluster of Excellence “Image Knowledge Form. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory”, Berlin. In 2015/16 she lectured at the Technische Universität Berlin. Johanna Schiffler has been a researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz since 2016 and is a visiting scholar at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in the autumn of that year.

Research Interests

  • painting and drawing in the nineteenth and early twentieth century
  • history of the landscape genre
  • history of the theories of perception, especially psychophysiology and psychological aesthetics in the nineteenth century


Raumerfahrung und Augenbewegung in Kunsttheorie und psychologischer Ästhetik um 1900, in: Ikonische Formprozesse, eds. Franz Engel/Marion Lauschke/Johanna Schiffler, Actus et Imago Vol. 20, Berlin 2016 (in preparation).

Die Kraft der Trugbilder. Formprozess und poetologisches Motiv bei Victor Hugo, in: Bilder-Texte-Bewegungen: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf Visualität, eds. Sandra Hettmann/Berit Callsen/Yolanda Melgar Pernías, Würzburg 2016, pp. 77–94.

Metamorphosen am Himmel. Victor Hugo und Lukrez, in: Ulrike Feist/Markus Rath: Et in imagine ego. Facetten von Bildakt und Verkörperung, Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2012, pp. 139–153.

Das Sehen im Bild/ Le voir dans l’image, in: Lukas Hoffmann. vingt-six photographies, Beaux-Arts de Paris, les éditions, Paris 2011, pp. 7–13.


Johanna Schiffler

Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin

Tel.: +49(0)30-838-50966

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