CARL JACOB CHRISTOPHER BURCKHARDT – REFLECTIONS ON HISTORY
PRESENTATION ON THE ESSAY BY ERIC FERNIE, ON THE REFLECTIONS ON HISTORY
• Born: May 25, 1818, Basle, Switzerland
• Died: August 8, 1897, Basle, Switzerland
• Historian of art and culture
• Influential figure in the historiography of each field
• Major progenitor of cultural history
• Education: University of Bonn, University of Basle(Theology and Greek), Humboldt University of Berlin(History of Art under Art Historian Franz Kugler and History under Diplomatic Historian Leopold von Ranke)
• Turned down offer to succeed von Ranke as Prof of History at Berlin instead took up same position at the University of Basle
• Books: The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (considered to be most influential work), Reflections on History (Which Eric Fernie discusses )
• As a Historian he placed a great deal of importance on art as a tool to understanding the past
• Delivered more than 100 lectures on Western culture covering entire span of Antiquity to his present - in fact first scholar to apply cultural history principles to all periods of art – up till then Winkelmann had done it only for Antiquity.
"The great discoverer of the age of the Renaissance, he first showed how a period should be treated in its entirety, with regard not only for its painting, sculpture and architecture, but for the social institutions of its daily life as well."
Sigfried Gidieon (Swiss Historian and Critic of Architecture)
• His method of studying History was what he considered a practical and empirical approach
• He would follow “ half random trains of thought” and make observations on them
• In the course he offered he would cut across different sections of history an attempt to reconstruct the past
• Burckhardt maintained that he was a humanist – which means his studies started with studying a “suffering, striving, Doing” humanity and thus his studies would in a sense “be pathological”...