Cultural and Historical Basics I: Art History by Task




Alexander Markschies

Lehrstuhlinhaber, Studiendekan


+49 241 80 95068




The compulsory lecture for students of architecture in the first year of study, which turns to selected monuments of the occidental history of architecture, sets itself the goal of subjecting this abundance of objects to a genuinely art-historical method, namely the method of an "art history according to tasks". This method was described by its founder, the Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897), on his 75th birthday as his personal legacy.

This method first became tangible in Burckhardt's book "Die Baukunst der Renaissance in Italien" from 1867, more precisely in the preface to the second edition. In it, the pioneer of German-language art historiography considered it desirable to supplement the narrative history of art with an account of things and genres in order to foreground the "driving forces that governed the whole of art [and] the precedents by which the individual master was conditioned in his work.

Although this view seems to have fallen into oblivion to some extent in art studies, it is a paradigm that has by no means lost its justification. It provides beginners in the study of architecture with highly important insights in that it provides an ordering criterion for the historical view of architecture and demonstrates the form-, type-, and social-historical conditionality of all architectural work.



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


On tuesdays, 6:30 p.m until 8:00 p.m
Start: probably October10, 2022
1010|101, Hauptgebäude, Templergraben 55

Accompanying Content

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