Cultural and Historical Basics I: Art Historry by Tasks

  Copyright: © Kunstgeschichte



Alexander Markschies

Lehrstuhlinhaber, Studiendekan


+49 241 80 95068




This mandatory lecture for all first year architecture students focusses on selected monuments of occidental architecture history. Main goal will be applying a genuine art historical method, namely the method of “Art History by Tasks”, to the abundance of architectural objects. The Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897), founder of this technique, declared it himself on his 75th birthday as his personal legacy.

This method became first tangible in 1867 in Burckhardt´s book “The Architecture of Renaissance Italy”, more precisely in the preface to the second edition of his work. In it the pioneer of German-language art historiography states the desirability to accompany the narrative art history with a depiction according to objects and genres. Thereby the “driving forces which dominated all of the arts, [and] the precedents, that conditioned the individual Master in his doing” will be foregrounded.

Even if this point of view in fine arts seems to be slightly forgotten, it is still a paradigm that never has lost its eligibility. This technique will grant beginners of architectural studies highly important insights by forming a special tool for analyzing architectural history. This classification criterion demonstrates the conditions of any architectural work in terms of form, type and social history.



Online Lecture
Cultural and Historical Basics I
B. Sc. // 1st semester


Lectures as weekly videos
Videos will be uploaded on tuesdays at 6:30pm in RWTHMoodle.
Start: November 3rd, 2020

Current Situation

Regarding the current situation all lectures and classes will be held digitally. You will receive information on the exact procedures from your lecturer. Please make sure to have access to the corresponding moodle platform. If this is not the case, please get in contact with our administrative office.


You can download the corresponding lecture content for follow-up purposes in RWTHMoodle.