There's an important new book just come out on lesser-known French art historians, theorists of the visual who are usually under the radar. Details on Manchester University Press's web site
I've got an essay on Hubert Damisch, mainly in relation to dreams in renaissance artists like Bellini and Raphael. Now I know there's a lot of hostility towards this kind of art history; but whatever you think of their style, ideas, the guff factor etc, these scholars deserve a hearing. Besides, obscurantism in art history writing is the fault of the profession, the "new" art history of the 70s- not the French.
I will cheerfully use these theorists in my teaching, because frankly, not many new ideas are coming from art history in the U.K at the moment.There was a conference last year on the future of art history at the Barber Institute- but nothing on French art history.
Many of these French thinkers like Damisch, Marin and Didi-Hubermann read canonical authors like Gombrich, Panofsky, Warburg and Wind- and they learnt from them. Not only that, but right now some renaissance authors in the US are producing books influenced by such thinkers. A recent book on Raphael that used Damisch's ideas on the visual was a case in point. If the discipline is to move on we need to engage with the ideas coming out of France, and that means reading both Warburg and French thinkers influenced by him. I'm told there are plans for a French trnslation so, hopefully we can expect some cross-fertilisation in the future.