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Catholic Reformation

(5,118 words)

Author(s): Decot, Rolf | Walther, Gerrit | Kanz, Roland
1. Terminology The response of the Catholic Church (usually called the “Old Church” in the Reformation period) to the Reformation began gradually. Historians have coined various terms for it. Today there is still no term that covers both the efforts at reform within the Church during the 16th century and the attempt to win back the Church’s lost socio-political terrain. The competing terms include  Catholic Reformation,   Counter-Reformation, Catholic confessionalization, and recatholization.The reaction of the Old Church (and the states and territories that …
Date: 2019-10-14

Art theory

(8,821 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. Introduction The history of early modern art theory from the 15th to the mid-19th century offers no semblance of a linear tradition in the discipline. Primary and secondary currents are encountered. It has long been recognized that the general history of early modern art, with its heterogeneity of genre and divergent development across Europe, is no longer reducible to a teleological history of style, but there are clearer international traditions of thought in the field of art theory. Art theo…
Date: 2019-10-14


(819 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
The Latin term idea has perevaded the history of philosophical thought since Plato [2]; [4] (see Idealism). In early modern aesthetics (Art theory), the concept of the idea in the sense of self-reflection on artistic creativity was discussed to secure the intellectual status of the fine arts – and thus of the artist as well. In this context,  idea (German  Idee, French  idée) referred to all genres of art; in the creative process that led to a work of art, it denoted the idea of the beautiful formed in the mind, which manifests itself as an inspira…
Date: 2019-10-14

Non finito

(1,015 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. ConceptThe aesthetic criteria of the unfinished derive from Italian Renaissance art theory. The key conceptual pair is the Italian perfezione/imperfezione, which was only revised into  finito/ non-finito (“finished”/“unfinished”) in modern usage [4]. The concept of the unfinished always corresponds with that of completion or perfection, aesthetically reflected in the relationship between art and nature. The degree of unfinishedness is measured according to the definition of the complete. During the 16th century, the semant…
Date: 2020-04-06


(961 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
The caricature is an art form of amusement and pictorial wit. The word caricatura (from Italian caricare, ‘to exaggerate,’ ‘to overload’) originally referred to an exaggerated imitation of nature in the portrait. In caricature, the artist demonstrates quickness of design, graphic skill, and pictorial wit. As a situational work of art, a caricature is primarily a domain of drawing. Until the 18th century, caricatures circulated in private or semi-public circles, and were not used in graphic reproduction. Early …
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,674 words)

Author(s): Bremer, Kai | Kanz, Roland
1. LiteratureConcetto (Italian; from Latin  conceptus, “gathering,” “thought/purpose”) is a term that was adopted into many western European languages (Spanish  concepto/ conceto, English conceit). Ernst Robert Curtius defines it as an “acute”  (“scharfsinnig”) or “pedantic” (“spitzfindig”) expression and “semantic play” (“Sinnspiel”) [2. 298, 301], and Hugo Friedrich as “as abnormal a payoff as possible, a striking semantic or conceptual play, eloquent, telling, stinging, and recherché” (“eine möglichst abnorme Pointe, ein frappierend…
Date: 2019-10-14

Court (monarchical)

(9,300 words)

Author(s): Asch, Ronald G. | Steigerwald, Jörn | Spohr, Arne | Kollbach, Claudia | Kanz, Roland
1. FunctionThe monarchical or princely court everywhere in Europe in the early modern period was at once a center of political power and a focus of social life for the noble elite (Nobility). Courtly culture and its vision of the ideal life as lived by the courtier exerted a defining influence (Cortegiano; see below, 5.1.) primarily on the culture of the nobility, but also on metropolitan urban elites, and sometimes, as in France in the 17th and early 18th centuries, on the culture of provincial towns. The language and conventions of behavior at court became exemplary.During the High M…
Date: 2019-10-14

Nazarene movement

(943 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. ConceptThe artists known as Nazarenes acquired their name in early 19th-century Rome in reference to their appearance  alla nazarena, which was associated with Jesus of Nazareth, especially because of their long hair parted in the middle. Johann Friedrich Overbeck – in this respect the model for the Nazarene circle – adopted this hairstyle from the winter of 1812/13 at the latest. The nickname was not derisive, but derived from a usage dating back to the 17th century denoting a superficial resemblance to depic…
Date: 2020-04-06


(894 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. Terminological historyA general understanding of naturalism as the representation of nature in art was closely associated in the early modern period with theories of the imitation of nature (Latin  imitatio naturae; cf. Mimesis). Yet the fact that nature was studied is not evidence in itself of naturalism (cf. Nature study [art]). Study in nature (as opposed to working in the studio) was a possible positive connotation of naturalism, but the term could equally be negative in tone, indicating a breach of the norms of imitatio, which aimed at a representation of nature that wa…
Date: 2020-04-06


(14,627 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Steinle, Friedrich | Beutel, Albrecht | Tschopp, Silvia Serena | Kanz, Roland | Et al.
1. Concept and definition Enlightenment in English is first attested from 1865 as a translation of the German  Aufklärung, which was first recorded in 1691. With their European cognates  lumières (French), illuminismo (Italian), and  ilustración (Spanish), they denote the most influential European educational and cultural movement of the 18th century, as well as its overriding goals: to subject all authorities, traditions, and hierarchies to the critical measure of a newly defined reason, and to abolish them if they ran counter…
Date: 2019-10-14

Exhibition, art

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. Introduction An art exhibition is a presentation of art objects in a context, the location and duration of which may vary. It is subject to organizational conditions, a particular purpose or occasion. Unlike an art collection or museum, presentation is temporary, and the works in an art exhibition are not associated with the location [6]. Boundaries between the art exhibition and the museum of art were fluid in the early modern period [4], but limited duration was the characteristic of the exhibition. Older and contemporary works of art might be exhibited toge…
Date: 2019-10-14

Figura serpentinata

(813 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
Figura serpentinata describes an ideal artistic figure: a stylized rotated body compared to a coiled snake, either at rest or in motion, ideally conceived as viewable from multiple perspectives [4]. Throughout the early modern era, theory of art (Art theory) treated this ideal figure, with its crucially close ties with mannerism, as one of the central ways to conceive of poise and motion. It was originally formulated by the art theorist Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo (1584) [2. 22–24], who compared the figura serpentinata to a flame and ascribed its invention to Michelange…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,545 words)

Author(s): Langer, Daniela | Rode-Breymann, Susanne | Kanz, Roland | Petri, Grischka
1. Concept and problemA work is considered plagiarism if it derives wholly or in part from the work of another author while deliberately concealing its source, permitting the definition of a “pretence of intellectual originality” [2. 1152]. Plagiarism is thus distinct from cryptomnesia (the unintended reproduction of something the author has forgotten having read) and the forms of parody and montage, in which disclosure of the source(s) is intended and crucial to reception. Whereas artistic forgery entails passing off one’s own w…
Date: 2020-10-06


(4,770 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland | Zymner, Rüdiger | Langenbruch, Anna
1. IntroductionMannerism in art, literature, and music is generally defined as the characteristic of a self-consciously elaborate or artificial style, and in art history in particular as an epoch located between the Renaissance and the Baroque. The term was coined in art studies in the late 18th century as a derivative of  “manner” (see below, 2.1.). In this context, it refers to a period between around 1520/30 and 1590/1600, a phase supposedly displaying symptoms of decadence in art and architec…
Date: 2019-10-14


(872 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. The word Even an approximate definition of the term grotesque is already distinguished by its etymology: the root word is Italian grotta/ grotte, from which the word grottesche was derived toward the end of the 15th century (first appearance 1495; on the word’s semantic development, see 2. below). In the 16th century, it entered all the major European languages as a loanword (French crotesque and grotesque, Eng. grotesque, Span. grutesco, Dutch Gottisen, Ger. Groteske and Krotteschisch) [4]; [5]. In all languages, generally speaking, the word’s definition is to this da…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,730 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Kanz, Roland | Riedl, Peter Philipp
1. History 0-1.1. ConceptThe Greek word epochḗ (“suspension, pause”) in everyday speech in Antiquity meant a lull in a speech or a movement, in astronomy the conjunction of two celestial bodies, and in philosophy the suspension of judgment (Skepticism). In the early modern period, the latter two senses were at first dominant. The term only gradually took on a historical sense. As it did so, even until the 18th century, it did not denote a particular span of time, but the event that heralded one. Even …
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,375 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Etymology and definitionThe word physiognomy (German Physiognomik, Middle English  fisnomy) is derived from Greek  physiognomonikḗ téchne; it means the art of perceiving the total nature of a person’s body from outward signs (literally “perception according to nature”). While physiognomics is more concerned with the narrower field of corporeal signs, physiognomy as it developed in the late Middle Ages and early modern period should be understood as a comprehensive theory of the correlation of all natural things. That said, there is no generally accepted usage even today.P…
Date: 2020-10-06


(2,838 words)

Author(s): Seidel, Robert | Schmidt, Dörte | Kanz, Roland
1. Literature 1.1. DefinitionEver since the term first arose, in Greek antiquity (Greek:  parōdίa, “parallel/side song”; French  parodie; German  Parodie), its meaning in the various European literatures has diverged, both in regard to the particular relationship of the parody to the original (affirmative, playful, critical) and in comparison with related writing strategies (travesty; burlesque; mock-epic; pastiche;  Kontrafaktur [contrafaction], etc.). Until the early modern period, the word tended to be used in the context of a non-polemical concept of  imitatio and …
Date: 2020-10-06


(972 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. Concept The term iconography derives from the Greek ei kṓn (“image”) and  gráphein (“to write”, “to describe”) and denotes the study of the content of images. However, this sense was acquired in the discipline of art history only in the 19th century. In general, iconography is concerned with all objects, forms, and designs in representations insofar as they comprise a system of signs that can express social, historical, religious, or aesthetic conditions or ideas. Insofar as iconography helps to explain w…
Date: 2019-10-14

Classicism, Neoclassicism

(3,724 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland | Ruhl, Carsten
1. TerminologyThe connotations of the term classicism differ among the European nations. In Germany, Klassizismus refers to the epoch in European art from around 1760 to around 1830, an era known in France, Italy, and Britain as neoclassicism, because in those countries it was preceded by national constructs of the European classics and classicism. In literature, the term classicism was first used in the 19th century to denote the comparability of a literary period with Antiquity (Italin  classicismo, 1818; German Klassizismus, 1820; French classicisme, 1823; English classi…
Date: 2019-10-14
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