Who Started Art History?

Art|Art History

Art history is a field of study that dates back centuries, and the origins of the discipline are often debated. While it’s impossible to name one individual as the single founder of the discipline, there are several individuals who have been credited with making major contributions to its development.

One of the earliest figures associated with art history is Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574). He was an Italian painter and architect, but he is also known for his influential biographical works on artists.

His Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (in two volumes) was published in 1550 and 1568, respectively. It celebrated the achievements of Renaissance artists and established a basis for art historical writing by providing critical assessments about style and technique.

The next major figure in art history was German scholar Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768). He wrote extensively on Greek sculpture, and his work heavily influenced subsequent generations of art historians.

According to Winckelmann, Greek sculpture was more than just a physical representation; it was an expression of beauty and emotion. He argued that beauty should be considered as an essential component in understanding works of art.

In the 19th century, French critic Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) wrote several essays on modern painting which had a major impact on how art was understood during this time period. His essays focused on themes such as beauty, individualism, imagination, passion, and melancholy. Baudelaire argued that modern painters should strive to capture fleeting emotions that could not be expressed through words alone.

Finally, one of the most important pioneers in early 20th century art history was German philosopher Wilhelm Worringer (1881-1965). Worringer developed the concept of “art as form” which argued that works of art should be judged based on their aesthetic qualities rather than their subject matter or symbolism. He also developed theories about abstract expressionism which greatly influenced later generations of art historians.

Although there is no single individual who can be credited as the founder of art history, these five individuals played major roles in its development over time. From Vasari’s early biographies to Worringer’s theories about abstract expressionism, their contributions have shaped our understanding and appreciation for works of art today.

< p >Conclusion: Although there is no single person who started Art History as we know it today, Giorgio Vasari’s Lives Of The Most Excellent Painters Sculptors And Architects had a major impact when it was published in 1550/1568 – paving way for subsequent figures such Johann Joachim Winckelmann , Charles Baudelaire ,and Wilhelm Worringer to shape our understanding and appreciation for works of Arts today.