Intellectual history and the history of art show their different emphasis and approaches when both of them have to take images as their topics. While excellent works of art of geniuses are the main concerns of the history of art, perhaps intellectual historians are more interested in recurrent images which conformed to its contemporary conventions. Historians in the former field used to analyse the styles, techniques and other individual characteristics from the viewpoint of aesthetics. Meanwhile, intellectual historians may pay most of their attentions on the ideas and knowledge concealed beneath the images. However, recently the history of art became much closer than ever to historiography which takes historical evidence as its foundation. As social, political, institutional and religious factors came into the forefront of the studies in the history of art, it seems that it is not so different from intellectual history which is also developing a much closer relationship with the history of social life. The author endeavors to give his opinions on the following questions： Is a characteristic position of ＇ Chinese＇ and ＇art＇ and an analytic approach which takes the categories such as style, techniques of ink-using and Qi Yun as its core a must for the studies of the history of art, especially that of Chinese art; furthermore, as the tendency of the approximation of history of art to historiography develops, how can the history of art still maintain its distinct contexts and frontiers with the help of these traditional analytic strategies.
Journal of Tsinghua University(Philosophy and Social Sciences)