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Principles of Art History: The Problem of the Development of Style in Early Modern Art One Hundredth Anniversary Edition

  • Heinrich Wölfflin
    A New Translation by Jonathan Blower
    Essays by Evonne Levy and Tristan Weddigen

    Principles of Art History by Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945), a revolutionary attempt to construct a science of art through the study of the development of style, has been a foundational work of formalist art history since it was first published in 1915. At once systematic and subjective, and remarkable for its compelling descriptions of works of art, Wölfflin’s text has endured as an accessible yet rigorous approach to the study of style. Although Wölfflin applied his analysis to objects of early modern European art, Principles of Art History has been a fixture in the theoretical and methodological debates of the discipline of art history and has found a global audience.

    With translations in twenty-four languages and many reprints, Wölfflin’s work may be the most widely read and translated book of art history ever. This new English translation, appearing one hundred years after the original publication, returns readers to Wölfflin’s 1915 text and images. It also includes the first English translations of the prefaces and afterword that Wölfflin himself added to later editions. Introductory essays provide a historical and critical framework, referencing debates engendered by Principles in the twentieth century for a renewed reading of the text in the twenty-first.

    Jonathan Blower is a translator and architectural historian based in London. Evonne Levy is professor of art history at the University of Toronto. Tristan Weddigen is professor of the history of early modern art at Universität Zürich.

    “This new English translation…offers an updated, highly readable version suitable for a 21st-century audience.”

    368 pages
    7 x 10 inches
    122 b/w 
ISBN 978-1-60606-452-8

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: Getty Research Institute
    Series: Texts & Documents