Girl with Dead Bird
The portrait we have come to call Little Girl with Dead Bird is an enigma. On the one hand, we hardly know anything about this sixteenth-century masterpiece. But even so, on the other hand the picture fascinates viewers to this day. This painting's indeterminate yet compelling status provides Volkmar Mühleis grounds to look beyond its historical significance and to explore its anthropological scope as well, from an intercultural perspective and, moreover, against the backdrop of its complex of themes concerning life and death. To do so, Mühleis returns to the conceptual premises that frame the relationship between the history of art and the anthropology of images, along with those that juxtapose Western and Eastern philosophies.
Volkmar Mühleis teaches philosophy and aesthetics at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels and Ghent. His research enfolds studies on blindness and art, artistic practice and theory, and politics and art, among others. As reviewer he publishes regularly in Philosophische Rundschau.