As will be clear from the Comments section of the blog and previous entries, I have got interested in where Kenneth Clark got his ideas about Civilisation since so few are declared in the text.
He was certainly influenced by Burckhardt, whose The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy he read at Oxford as a counterpoint to Ruskin, who was a bigger influence on his prose style.
He was much influenced by Roger Fry, who he met in his twenties, became a friend, and whose Last Lectures he edited; but he was surely more influenced by Fry’s formalism than his attitude (never well developed) towards history.
He was definitely admiring of Aby Warburg, attended one of his lectures in Florence (but misrecorded its date), helped acquire his library for London, and who deeply influenced Clark’s writing of The Nude.
He acknowledges the influence of H.G. Wells.
I have no evidence that he had read Norbert Elias’s Über den Process der Zivilisation which was first published in 1939 and republished in 1969, but Clark was no fool and he would have consulted friends in Oxford in the writing of Civilisation who would have been familiar with Elias’s ideas, if only second hand.
In his opposition between ‘heroic will’ and what he regarded as the more effeminate aspects of Civilisation, I wonder if he was also influenced, if only subliminally, by Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West, which, like H.G. Wells’s Outline of History was so fashionable in the 1920s, even if Clark, like Gombrich rejected any form of intellectual determinism.
I will rely on Edward Chaney to correct me.