Johann Jakob Wilhelm Heinse(redirected from Wilhelm Heinse)
Heinse, Johann Jakob Wilhelm
Born Feb. 16, 1746, in Langewiesen, Thuringia; died June 22, 1803, in Aschaffenburg. German writer.
Heinse studied law at Jena and Erfurt. He began his career as a writer by imitating C.M. Wieland and then wrote verse in the Anacreontic tradition. Later he became a major representative of the Sturm und Drang movement. His novel Ardinghello, or the Islands of Happiness (vols. 1–2, 1787; Russian translation, 1935), which glorifies sensuality and beauty in the spirit of the Renaissance, culminates in a social utopia.
Heinse expounded his views on music in the novel Hildegard von Hohenthal (vols. 1–3, 1795–96). In On Some Pictures in the Düsseldorf Gallery (1776–77) and other works on aesthetics, Heinse opposed classicism and affirmed the uniqueness of each people’s culture. Heinse’s works and aesthetic theories were for the most part preromantic in character.