Alexandra Zylka January 20 , 2011
FAH102 – The Practice of Art History / Lecture 2
The Work of Art I: The Visual Analysis (Painting, Sculpture) - slides on FADIS
Jakob Burckhardt (1818-1897)
- Of Swiss origin
- His approach to art and history came from a more wholesome, cultural-historical
- Known as the father of cultural history (Aby Warburg will later significantly expand on
this line of ideas)
- Discussed the complex of life and people, including religion, art and literature.
Heinrich Wölfflin (1864-1945)
- Famous Swiss art historian, whose classifying principles (“painterly” vs. “linear”) were
influential in the development of formal analysis in the History or art during the later 20 th
- Taught in Basel, Berlin and Munich.
- Three great books: Renaissance and Baroque, Classic Art and Principles of Art History.
- His family was wealthy and cultured
- Studied art history and philosophy under Jakob Burckhardt at the University of Basel.
- Emphasized there being psychology in the perception of psychology in art. (“art
- Baroque – based on “Baroco”(irregular)- Renaissance – comes from goldsmiths
- Why was Wölfflin so important?
o Offered the perspective of a value-free, culturally unbiased, objective, more-or-
less scientific, apolitical access to works of art…within the constraints of his time,
- By introducing method into art history, Wölfflin hopes to make it a discipline that
comprises more than appreciation of beauty and sensitivity to style.
The first departments of Art History – had to establish themselves as a serious science.
Archaeology – the grandmother of art history
Vernon Hyde Minor
- Believes that art can have a firmer foundation than it seemed to claim in the nineteenth
- He wants to make art history scientific (although in a somewhat different sense than
physics and biology are sciences)
The birth place of the history of art and of the field as a university institution lies in Germany.
- 1813 Göttingen
- 1844 Berlin
- 1852 Vienna
Wölfflin’s contemporaries were among others…
- Carl Jung
- Sigmund Freud
- Karl Max “You are ugly” is only valid when “You are beauty” is said. – a means of comparison, side by
A Biunial or double lens Magic Lantern
- Made in England in 1878 by Tyler and Stackemann, Waterloo Road, London
- The Biunial magic lantern has two separate optical systems to allow the projection of
dissolves and other effects.
But what exactly is style?
- Stlye, according to Wölfflin, depends on various factors such as :
o And the elusive spirit of the age, the Zeitgeist
Wöfflin’s Principles :
- LINEAR – PAINTERLY
- PLANE – RECESSION
- CLOSED – OPEN
- UNITY – MULTIPLICITY
- ABSOLUTE CLARITY – RELATIVE CLARITY
1)Linear vs. painterly. Elements on the canvas are primarily described by lines. Figures