According to Alois Riegl, Art is incomplete without the perceptual and emotion all involvement of the viewer.
Inclusion of a viewer’s response to art led to the birth of Modernism in art. Aesthetic response to art, as put forth by the German art historian, Erwin Panofsky, appears in 3 levels, all of which rely on the viewer’s memory.
1. Pre-iconographical interpretation - Concerned with intrinsic elements of painting such as line, color, pure form, subject matter and emotion. On this level, the viewer’s interpretation is based on practical, intuitive experience of the elements, without recourse to any factual or cultural knowledge.
2. Iconographical interpretation - Concerned with the meaning of forms and their expression in universal frames of reference.
3. Iconological interpretation - Deals with viewer’s response to art in the more restricted cultural contexts of country, culture, class, religion and period in history.