Heinrich Wölfflin

Heinrich Wölfflin

Heinrich Wölfflin (June 21 1864 – July 19 1945) was a famous Swiss art critic, whose objective classifying principles ("painterly" vs. "linear" and the like) were influential in the development of formal analysis in the history of art during the 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence. His three great books, still consulted, are "Renaissance und Barock" (1888), "Die Klassische Kunst" (1898, "Classic Art"), and "Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe" (1915, "Principles of Art History").

Origins and career

Wölfflin's family in Winterthur, Switzerland, was cultured. His father, Eduard Wölfflin, was a classicist who helped found and organize the "Thesaurus Linguae Latinae". Wölfflin studied art history and philosophy under Jakob Burckhardt at the University of Basel, philosophy at Berlin University, art history and philosophy at Munich University where his father taught. Wölfflin's principal mentor, and the chair of his doctoral committee at the University of Munich, where Wölfflin got his doctoral degree was the renowned professor of archaeology, Heinrich Brunn. [ Mark Jarzombek, "The Psychologizing of Modernity". (Cambridge University press) 2000,p. 47, a book with many many errors in dating and facts. See Joan Hart's Dissertation 1981 for an extended analysis of Woelfflin's dissertation.] The dissertation, "Prolegomena zu einer Psychologie der Architektur" (1886) attempted to show that architecture had a basis in form through the empathetic response of human form. It is considered one of the founding texts of the emerging discipline of art psychology.

After graduating in 1886, Wölfflin published the result of two years' travel and study in Italy, as his "Renaissance und Barock" (1888), the book that introduced "Baroque" as a stylistic category and a serious area of study. For Wölfflin, the 16th-century art now described as "Mannerist" was part of the Baroque aesthetic, one that Burckhardt before him as well as most French and English-speaking scholars for a generation after him dismissed as degenerate. In distinguishing the Classical Renaissance art from the anti-Classical Baroque, Wölfflin absorbed the Apollonian-Dionysian dualism described by Friedrich Nietzsche in his seminal work "Die Geburt der Tragödie" ("The Birth of Tragedy") (1870-71).

On the death of Jacob Burckhardt in 1897 Wöllflin succeeded him in the Chair at Basel. He is credited with having introduced the teaching method of using twin parallel projectors in the delivery of art-history lectures, so that images could be compared. Sir Ernst Gombrich recalled being inspired by him. Wölfflin taught at Berlin University from 1901 to 1912, Zurich University from 1912 to 1924.

Principles of Art History

In this work Wölfflin formulated five pairs of opposed or contrary precepts in the form and style of art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which demonstrated a shift in the nature of artistic vision between the two periods. These were:
# From linear (draughstmanly, plastic, relating to contour in projected ideation of objects) to painterly ("malerisch": tactile, observing patches or systems of relative light and of non-local colour within shade, making shadow and light integral, and allowing them to replace or supersede the dominance of contours as fixed boundaries.)
# From plane to recession: (from the 'Will to the plane', which orders the picture in strata parallel to the picture plane, to planes made inapparent by emphasising the forward and backward relations and engaging the spectator in recessions.)
# From closed (tectonic) form to open (a-tectonic) form (The closed or tectonic form is the composition which is a self-contained entity which everywhere points back to itself, the typical form of ceremonial style as the revelation of law, generally within predominantly vertical and horizontal oppositions; the open or atectonic form compresses energies and angles or lines of motion which everywhere reach out beyond the composition, and override the horizontal and vertical structure, though naturally bound together by hidden rules which allow the composition to be self-contained.)
# From multiplicity to unity: ('Classic art achieves its unity by making the parts independent as free members, and the baroque abolishes the uniform independence of the parts in favour of a more unified total motive. In the former case, co-ordination of the accents; in the latter, subordination.' The multiple details of the former are each uniquely contemplated: the multiplicity of the latter serves to diminish the dominance of line, and to enhance the unification of the multifarious whole.)
# From absolute clarity to relative clarity of the subject: (i.e. from exhaustive revelation of the form of the subject, to a pictorial representation which deliberately evades objective clearness in order to deliver a perfect rendering of information or pictorial appearance obtained by other painterly means. In this way instead of the subject being presented as if arranged for contemplation, it avoids this effect and thereby escapes ever being exhausted in contemplation.)

Wolfflin argued that these principles were affected at an international level in the periodic transformations of western art, much as Burckhardt and Dehio had postulated a periodicity in its architecture. The process led first from a more primitive, inchoate stage in which no single aspect of style predominated, to one in which other elements were subordinated to the need to define and objectify absolutely, and then to a further stage in which exact delineation was superseded by a more unified transcendental vision of the world of appearances. By defining these observed principles as what belonged in this broader province of art-historical understanding, this psychology of stylistic development, he therefore provided a framework within which the national and personal elements of stylistic evolution could more readily be identified.


Sources and Editions

*M. Lurz. "Heinrich Wöllflin: Biographie einer Kunsttheorie" (Worms am Rhein 1981)
*H. Wölfflin. "Principles of Art History. The Problem of the Development of Style in Later Art", Translated from 7th German Edition (1929) into English by M D Hottinger (Dover Publications, New York 1932 and reprints).
*H. Wöllflin. "Classic Art. An Introduction to the Italian Renaissance". Translated from the 8th German Edition (Benno Schwabe & Co, Basle 1948) by Peter and Linda Murray (Phaidon Press, London 1952, 2nd Edn 1953).
*H. Wölfflin. "Die Kunst Albrecht Dürers" (The Art of Albrecht Dürer), (F Bruckmann, Munich 1905, 2d Edn 1908).
*H. Wölfflin. "Die Bamburger Apokalypse: Eine Reichenauer Bilderhandschrift vom Jahre 1000" (The Bamburg Apocalypse: A Reichenau painter's manuscript from the year 1000), (Kurt Wolff, Munich 1921).
*H. Wölfflin. "Italien und das deutsche Formgefühl" (Italy and the German sense of Form), (1931).
*H. Wölfflin. "Gedenken zur Kunstgeschichte" (Thoughts on Art History), (1941).
*H. Wöllflin. "Kleine Schriften" (Shorter Writings), (1946).J. Hart, Heinrich Woelfflin, Dissertation U. of California, Berkeley, 1981.

External links

* [http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/wolfflin.htm Heinrich Wölfflin]
* [http://www.littlebluelight.com/lblphp/infl.php?inkey=64 Brief page]
* [http://www.philipresheph.com/a424/gallery/course/ma.htm Illustrated companion to Principles of Art History]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heinrich Wolfflin — Heinrich Wölfflin Heinrich Wölfflin est un historien de l art, écrivain et professeur suisse né à Winterthour le 24 juin 1864[1]et mort à Zurich le 19 juillet 1945. Wölfflin a en réalité suivi des études de philosophie, mais… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Heinrich Wölfflin — (Foto von Rudolf Dührkoop) Heinrich Wölfflin (* 21. Juni 1864 in Winterthur; † 19. Juli 1945 in Zürich) war einer der bedeutendsten Schweizer Kunsthistoriker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Heinrich Wölfflin — (21 de junio de 1864 Winterthur 19 de julio de 1945, Zurich) fue un famoso crítico del arte suizo, profesor en Basilea, Berlín y Munich, considerado como uno de los mejores historiadores de arte de toda Europa. Contenido 1 Trayectoria 2 El punto… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Heinrich Wölfflin — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wölfflin. Heinrich Wölfflin, photographie de Rudolf Dührkoop Heinrich Wölfflin est un historien de l art, écrivai …   Wikipédia en Français

  • WÖLFFLIN (H.) — La forme est une notion ambiguë dans les arts visuels; elle y désigne tantôt la configuration de l’objet représenté par l’artiste, tantôt les éléments et le système dont il se sert pour rendre compte des objets. Dans le premier sens, la forme… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Heinrich Bartmann — Heinrich Bartmann, 1936 Heinrich Bartmann (* 6. September 1898 in Köln; † 11. Mai 1982 in Baden Baden; vollständiger Name: Heinrich Paul Franz Maria Bartmann) war ein deutscher Architekt, Stadtplaner und Hochschullehrer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Heinrich Dieckmann — Heinrich Maria Dieckmann (* 7. März 1890 in Kempen; † 11. April 1963 in Mönchengladbach) war ein deutscher Maler und Designer. Er war ein Vertreter des Expressionismus in Deutschland, der sich vor allem der sakralen Kunst widmete. Dieckmann gilt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wölfflin — Personen namens Wölfflin sind Eduard Wölfflin (1831–1908), schweizerischer klassischer Philologe Heinrich Wölfflin, (1864–1945), schweizerischer Kunsthistoriker Kurt Wölfflin, (1934–1998), österreichischer Schriftsteller Diese Sei …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wölfflin — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Eduard Wölfflin (1831 1908) est un linguiste suisse Heinrich Wölfflin (1864 1945) est un historien de l art suisse, spécialiste du baroque, fils d Eduard… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wölfflin — Wölfflin, 1) Eduard, Philolog, geb. 1. Jan. 1831 in Basel, studierte hier und in Göttingen, unternahm 1854 eine Studienreise nach Paris, habilitierte sich 1856 in seiner Vaterstadt und wurde 1861 Gymnasialprofessor in Winterthur, 1869… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”