Heinrich Wölfflin

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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