Burckhardt, Jacob

Jacob Burckhardt, Swiss historian of art and culture, 1818-1897

Burckhardt was an influential figure in the historiography of both these fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Siegfried Giedion described Burckhardt's achievement in the following terms: "The great discoverer of the age of the Renaissance, he first showed how a period should be treated in its entirety, with regard not only for its painting, sculpture and architecture, but for the social institutions of its daily life as well". Burckhardt's best known work is The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860).