Sulzer, Johann Georg

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sulzer, Johann Georg


Born Oct. 16, 1720, in Winterthur, Switzerland; died Jan. 27, 1779, in Berlin. German aesthetician and teacher.

Sulzer moved from Switzerland to Germany in 1743 and taught philosophy at the Berlin Academy of Sciences from 1775. He wrote The Universal Theory of Fine Arts (vols. 1–2, 1771–74), which expounded the basic concepts of aesthetics and various arts in alphabetical order. He stressed the importance of taste and feeling in the influence of art on man. Sulzer’s uninspired moralizing in the spirit of the Bodmer school drew adverse criticism of his works from G. E. Lessing, J. G. Herder, and Goethe.


Vermischte philosophische Schriften, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1782–1800.
In Russian translation:
Razgovory o krasote estestva. St. Petersburg, 1777.
O poleznom s iunoshestvom chtenii drevnikh klassicheskikh pisatelei mnenie. Moscow, 1787.
Uprazhneniia k vozbuzhdeniu rnimaniia i razmvshleniia. St. Petersburg, 1801.
Novaia teoriia udovol’stvii. St. Petersburg, 1813.


Tumarkin, A. Der Asthetiker Johann Georg Sulzer. Frauenfeld, 1933.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Sulzer, Johann Georg: Allgemeine Theorie der schonen Kunste (Leipzig, 1771-4)