Heinrich Wölfflin

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Wölfflin, Heinrich


Born June 21, 1864, in Winter-thur; died July 19, 1945, in Zürich. Swiss art critic.

Wölfflin became a professor at the universities of Basel (1893), Berlin (1901), Munich (1912), and Zürich (1924). He developed and masterfully applied a consecutive method of analyzing an artistic style, which he used in his early works to investigate “the psychology of an era” (Renaissance and Baroque, 1888; Russian translation, 1913; and Classical Art, 1899; Russian translation, 1912). Later, under the influence of Neo-Kantianism, Wölfflin further limited the tasks of analysis to the definition of “methods of vision”—systems of abstracted formal categories by which he grasped the characteristics of the art of different eras or peoples (Fundamental Understanding of the History of Art, 1915; Russian translation, 1930; and Italy and the German Concept of Form, 1931; Russian translation, The Renaissance Art of Italy and Germany, 1934).


Strich, F. Zu Heinrich Wölfflins Gedächtnis. Bern, 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
Heinrich Wolfflin, Renaissance and Baroque, London: Collins, 1964, p.
Famously extolled by art historian Heinrich Wolfflin (1864-1945), compare-and-contrast was the binary system of looking at any two works of art simultaneously (made possible by the advent of the slide lantern), which led, from the nineteenth century onward, to the establishment of art history's fundamental categories-stylistic shifts, early and late styles, nationalist movements, ideological differences.
No, that was Heinrich Wolfflin writing about Michelangelo in 1928.
Ever since Heinrich Wolfflin, the successor in Basel of Jacob Burckhardt, published his Renaissance und Barock (1888) and fixed the word 'baroque' into intellectual consciousness and discourse, its meaning has been a focal point of debate.
Much in the manner of a latter-day Heinrich Wolfflin, whose Die klassische Kunst (1898) comes to mind in reading the studies of Michelangelo and Raphael (in CM), Kuhn hews to a formalist approach.
The art historian Heinrich Wolfflin once said that a concept of style could be applied to past eras of art but not to modern works.
This is especially true of Alois Riegl and Heinrich Wolfflin, both of whom were obsessed by the "discovery" of universal historical laws that worked through individuals and across generations like the genetic formulae for red hair or green eyes.
In his influential 1915 study, Principles of Art History, for example, Heinrich Wolfflin set out to investigate stylistic change in "Renaissance" and "Baroque" art, but against his own thesis claimed that "there is a definite type of Italian or Germanic imagination which asserts itself, always the same in all centuries.
Werner and Katharina Kluger, both of whom studied under Heinrich Wolfflin (1864-1945), the renowned German-Swiss art historian.
Drawing upon the pioneering work of Heinrich Wolfflin and Alois Riegl, Wright initially outlines a notion of baroque as being both a period-concept and a critical category descriptive of epochs such as our own, which manifest a high degree of tension between chaos and order, multiplicity and unity.
Although Joselit doesn't go into it, Hoffman's access to formalism's concepts was probably conveyed by postwar art-historical pedagogy, taught via Swiss art historian Heinrich Wolfflin in order to conceal--as Clement Greenberg's followers were successfully doing--its more proximate past in the tactics and analytics of the revolutionary Russians.
Heinrich Wolfflin once suggested that "not everything is possible at all times," and Strunz's historicism seems equally axiomatic.