classicism

Jacques-Louis David’s History Paintings

Jacques-Louis David’s History Paintings

On August 30, 1748, influential French painter in the Neoclassical style Jacques-Louis David was born. He is considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity. “I want my works to bear the character of antiquity, so much so that, if it were possible for an Athenian to…
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The Sensibility of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

The Sensibility of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

On July 2, 1724, German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was born. One of his major contributions to German literature was to open it up to exploration outside of French models. Klopstock is considered an important representative of sensibility. “The God who created these fair heavens with the same facility as yon green sapling; he who hath bestowed on man a life of toil, of transient joys and fleeting pains, that he might…
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Johann Heinrich Voss’ Translations

Johann Heinrich Voss’ Translations

On February 20, 1751, German poet and translator Johann Heinrich Voss was born. He is probably best known for his translation of Homer‘s Odyssey (1781) and Iliad (1793) into German. He also undertook, with his sons, a translation of Shakespeare which was completed in nine volumes in 1829, but this translation cannot stand a comparison with Schlegel‘s.[1] Being a native German, I know Homer‘s works only in the translation by Voss, and…
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Probably the best known composer of the world – Ludwig van Beethoven

Probably the best known composer of the world – Ludwig van Beethoven

On December 17, 1770, German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven was born. He is considered a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, and remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” – Ludwig van Beethoven, as reported by Bettina von Arnim in a letter to Goethe, 28 May 1810. Ludwig…
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Joseph Haydn – the Father of the Symphony

Joseph Haydn – the Father of the Symphony

On March 31 (or April 1) 1732, Austrian composer Joseph Haydn was born. The composer of the Viennese Classicism was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. His contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet”. “My language is understood all over the world.” – Joseph Haydn on Mozart’s objection that he speaks too few languages…
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Leo von Klenze and the Greek Revival Style

Leo von Klenze and the Greek Revival Style

On February 29, 1784, German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer Leo von Klenze was born. Court architect of Bavarian King Ludwig I, Leo von Klenze was one of the most prominent representatives of Greek revival style. Among his famous buildings are amongst others the Glyptothek in Munich, the New Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, or the Walhalla temple near Regensburg. Early Years Klenze was born in Buchladen, near Schladen, Lower Saxonia, Germany, to…
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The Prophet of Modern Archaeology – Joachim Winckelmann

The Prophet of Modern Archaeology – Joachim Winckelmann

On December 9, 1717, German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann was born. Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Joachim Winckelmann Background Joachim Winckelmann grew up in a poor family of a master shoemaker, but was highly supported by his blind school teacher, the Rector of the Stendal Latin School, Esaias…
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Roman History by Theodor Mommsen

Roman History by Theodor Mommsen

On November 30, 1817, German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician and archaeologist Theodor Mommsen was born. Mommsen was one of the greatest classicists of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research. Mommsen received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902 for being “the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of…
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August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

On April 19, 1759, German actor and dramatic author August Wilhelm Iffland was born. He was the most important actor of his age and is best remembered for playing the main part of Franz Moor in Friedrich Schiller‘s ‘The Robbers‘.[6] And there is this ring, the Iffland-Ring, which bears Iffland‘s likeness, and is borne by the most important German-speaking actor, as decided by his predecessor. When I first heard the story of the…
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Dreams, Travelling, and Humoresques – The Literary Life of Jean Paul

Dreams, Travelling, and Humoresques – The Literary Life of Jean Paul

On March 21, 1762, German Romantic author Johann Paul Friedrich Richter was born, better known as Jean Paul. Jean Paul is best known for his humorous novels and stories. In terms of literary history, his work stands between the epochs of Classicism and Romanticism. “Memory is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven away.” — Jean Paul’s Geist; oder Chrestomathie, Vierter Theil [4th part], Weimar/Leipzig, 1816 Youth and Education…
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