Life[ edit ] The son of a Protestant clergyman , Burckhardt was born and died in Basel , where he studied theology in the hope of taking holy orders ; however, under the influence of Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette , he chose not to become a clergyman. He was a member of the patrician Burckhardt family. He finished his degree in and went to the University of Berlin to study history,  especially art history, then a new field. At Berlin, he attended lectures by Leopold von Ranke , the founder of history as a respectable academic discipline based on sources and records rather than personal opinions. In , he returned to Basel to assume the professorship he held until his retirement in
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Life[ edit ] The son of a Protestant clergyman , Burckhardt was born and died in Basel , where he studied theology in the hope of taking holy orders ; however, under the influence of Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette , he chose not to become a clergyman.
He was a member of the patrician Burckhardt family. He finished his degree in and went to the University of Berlin to study history,  especially art history, then a new field. At Berlin, he attended lectures by Leopold von Ranke , the founder of history as a respectable academic discipline based on sources and records rather than personal opinions. In , he returned to Basel to assume the professorship he held until his retirement in He started to teach only art history in Burckhardt is currently featured on the Swiss thousand franc banknote.
According to John Lukacs , he was the first master of cultural history, which seeks to describe the spirit and the forms of expression of a particular age, a particular people, or a particular place. His innovative approach to historical research stressed the importance of art and its inestimable value as a primary source for the study of history. He was one of the first historians to rise above the narrow 19th-century notion that "history is past politics and politics current history. Burckhardt delivered a series of lectures at the University of Basel, which were published in by Pantheon Books Inc.
He spent the greater part of the years and in Italy, collecting material for his Der Cicerone: Eine Anleitung zum Genuss der Kunstwerke Italiens 7th German edition, "The Cicerone: or, Art-guide to painting in Italy. For the use of travellers" Translated into English by A. Clough in , also dedicated to Kugler.
The work, "the finest travel guide that has ever been written"  which covered sculpture and architecture , and painting, became an indispensable guide to the art traveller in Italy.
About half of the original edition was devoted to the art of the Renaissance. Thus, Burckhardt was naturally led to write the two books for which he is best known, his Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien "The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy" English translation, by S. Middlemore, in 2 vols. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy was the most influential interpretation of the Italian Renaissance in the 19th century and is still widely read.
In connection with this work Burckhardt may have been the first historian to use the term " modernity " in a clearly defined, academic context. Burckhardt and the German historian Georg Voigt founded the historical study of the Renaissance. In contrast to Voigt, who confined his studies to early Italian humanism , Burckhardt dealt with all aspects of Renaissance society. Burckhardt considered the study of ancient history an intellectual necessity and was a highly respected scholar of Greek civilization.
At his death, he was working on a four-volume survey of Greek civilization. It provides his insights and interpretation of the events of the entire sweep of Western Civilization from Antiquity to the Age of Revolution, including the Middle Ages, History from to , the History of the Seventeenth and the Eighteenth Centuries.
Both men were admirers of the late Arthur Schopenhauer. Nietzsche believed Burckhardt agreed with the thesis of his The Birth of Tragedy , that Greek culture was defined by opposing "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" tendencies. Their extensive correspondence over a number of years has been published. The Swiss polity in which he spent nearly all of his life was a good deal more democratic and stable than was the norm in 19th-century Europe.
As a Swiss, Burckhardt was also cool to German nationalism and to German claims of cultural and intellectual superiority. He was also amply aware of the rapid political and economic changes taking place in the Europe of his day and commented in his lectures and writings on the Industrial Revolution , the European political upheavals of his day, and the growing European nationalism and militarism.
Events amply fulfilled his prediction of a cataclysmic 20th century, in which violent demagogues whom he called "terrible simplifiers" would play central roles.
In later years, Burckhardt found himself unimpressed by democracy, individualism, socialism and a great many other ideas fashionable during his lifetime.
The assumption is that the future will honor this relationship in perpetuity. The state has learned from the merchants and industrialists how to exploit credit; it defies the nation ever to let it go into bankruptcy. Alongside all swindlers the state now stands there as swindler-in-chief".
Er stammte aus einer alten und erfolgreichen Familie des Basler Daig. Im Elternhaus und auf dem Gymnasium erhielt Burckhardt eine umfassende humanistische Bildung. Nebenbei befasste er sich schon damals mit Geschichtswissenschaft und Philologie. In dieser Zeit wurde er Mitglied im Schweizerischen Zofingerverein. Intensiv arbeitete er hier in Archiven und Bibliotheken. In den Jahren nach arbeitete Jacob Burckhardt zeitweise als politischer Redaktor bei den konservativen Basler Nachrichten. Brief Burckhardts an seinen Kollegen Nietzsche vom
BURCKHARDT CICERONE PDF
Il cicerone. Guida al godimento delle opere d'arte in Italia