Bertrand Prévost

 Bertrand Prévost

Bertrand Prévost

Associate professor
Université Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux 3


Juni 2012 – August 2012


Noting the archaeological neutralization of the image in the aesthetic regime of evidence introduced by Renaissance humanism, we wish to think the aesthetic power beyond a mere invocation that is never able to consider a singular image.

Introducing seriously the vocabulary of “force” in the artistic field requires thinking in quantitative or economic terms (the variation of plus and minus): more precisely in terms of intensity. Deleuzian theory of intensity on this point is of great help, since it asserts intensive quantity in its irreducibility both to extensive quantities (mainly the evidence of forms) and qualities (mainly the aspectual and chromatic evidences). Moreover, it assumes the work of a difference that makes never divide a thing without changing its nature. So, the image is opened to an heterogeneous or transformational dimension.

This theoretical draft can be experienced with regard to several historical and theoretical models. Starting with the Christian figurability which, theologically forced to deny the humanistic evidence of extension and quality, will be able to assume itself as intensive aesthetics. Then, the energetic model of the Warburgian iconology may be another field of exploration: its great advantage is to clarify the psychological horizon of such an “energy”. But more generally, we wish to revive a concept of expression prior to any subjectivity, and thereby reinvest from an aesthetic point of view an entire tradition of natural philosophy, from Spinoza to Nietzsche, as much as Leibniz to Deleuze.


  • Theory of Art of the Italian Renaissance, especially Alberti’s De pictura
  • Warburgian studies, with a focus on the figures of Ninfa and putti
  • Construction of a theory of intensity based on a rehabilitation of a certain concept of expression
  • Cosmetics, in both fields of anthropology and zoology


L’humaniste, le peintre et le philosophe. Théorie de l’art selon Leon Battista Alberti (forthcoming).

Botticelli. Le manège allégorique, Paris: Éd. 1:1 2011.

La peinture en actes. Gestes et manières dans l’Italie de la Renaissance, Arles: Actes Sud 2007.

L’élégance animale. Esthétique et zoologie selon Adolf Portmann, in: Images Re-vues, Bd. 6, Paris 2009.


Bertrand Prévost

Kolleg-Forschergruppe BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin