Anton Springer

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Anton Springer

Anton Springer (born July 13, 1825 in Prague , † May 31, 1891 in Leipzig ; full name: Anton Heinrich Springer ) is one of the leading German art historians of the 19th century.


Anton Springer studied philosophy and history in Prague , where he also received his doctorate , but after study trips that took him to Italy and Germany, and a little later to Belgium, France and England, devoted himself to art history from 1846 . In Tübingen he wrote a second dissertation on Hegel's conception of history in 1847 . In between he was also politically active and initiated a press campaign against the ban on theater performances in Tübingen. In 1848 he gave lectures on the “History of the Revolutionary Age” at Prague University , but had to leave Prague because of his radical political views. Then Springer was first a lecturer from 1852 to 1872, and from 1860 professor for art history at the University of Bonn .

After a brief teaching position in Strasbourg , in 1873 he filled the newly established chair for art history at the Philosophical Faculty of Leipzig University as a full professor for the history of Middle and Modern Art . The historian Heinrich Wuttke tried to prevent this, but was unsuccessful. Since 1875 he was a full member of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences .


Springer was one of the first to understand art history as a strictly scientific subject, which is why he sharply criticized the literary-romantic approach to art that was widespread at the time, as practiced by Herman Grimm , or the unreflected art-historical outpouring of Hermann Knackfuß . He wrote numerous treatises on Western art, such as a guide to the architecture of the Christian Middle Ages (1854), a handbook of art history (1855), a history of the visual arts in the 19th century (1858), published iconographic studies (1860) and a treatise on contemporary visual arts (1875) and authored books on Raffael and Michelangelo (1878). Springer provided the art-historical treatises for many Baedeker travel guides . A book about Albrecht Dürer (1892) was published posthumously . Finally, the fact that he introduced a chair for the subject of art history at three universities should be mentioned, with which he also created the institutional framework for the specialized art history.


Web links

Wikisource: Anton Springer  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Members of the SAW: Anton Springer. Saxon Academy of Sciences, accessed December 3, 2016 .