August Schmarsow

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August Schmarsow

August Schmarsow (born May 26, 1853 in Schildfeld (today to Vellahn ), Mecklenburg-Schwerin , † January 19, 1936 in Baden-Baden ) was a German art historian. Throughout his life, Schmarsow strove to gain knowledge of the essence of art and to determine the essence of art-historical terminology . In addition, the art historian Schmarsow postulated a creative connection in art as part of his research.


Schmarsow studied German, philosophy and art history in Zurich , Strasbourg and Bonn . In 1877 he received his doctorate in Strasbourg and then worked at the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett. In 1881 he received his habilitation with the title “Raffael and Pinturicchio in Siena” and began teaching as a lecturer in art history in Göttingen , where he was appointed professor in 1882 . In 1885 a professorship followed in Breslau , which he resigned in 1888. In 1892 he went to Florence in order to prepare the establishment of the Art History Institute , which promotes research into historical Italian art and architecture. In 1893 he followed a call to Leipzig , where he taught for several decades as a full professor of art history until 1919. Since 1894 he was a member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences .

His inaugural lecture held on November 8, 1893 at the University of Leipzig with the title "The essence of architectural creation" (published in 1894) is considered to be an essential contribution to the architectural theory of the 19th century. Schmarsow emphasizes the outstanding importance of architecture as a room designer : "The history of architecture is a history of the feeling of space, and thus consciously or unconsciously a fundamental component in the history of world views." In 1896, Schmarsow's second fundamental lecture on spatial theory followed with the title "Ueber the value of dimensions in the human spatial structure ”, which was published that same year.

In 1923 he was elected a foreign member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences .


Schmarsow is the author of the biographies of Pierre Jean David d'Angers , Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres , and Pierre Paul Prud'hon in Robert Dohme's Art and Artists; Raffael and Pinturicchio in Siena (1880).

Further book publications:


Web links

Wikisource: August Schmarsow  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Jörg Dünne / Stefan Günzel (Eds.): Space Theory; Basic texts from philosophy and cultural studies, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag 2006, p. 483
  2. ^ Members of the SAW: August Schmarsow. Saxon Academy of Sciences, accessed on November 26, 2016 .
  3. quoted in: Fritz Neumeyer: Quellentexte zur Architekturtheorie, Munich: Prestel Verlag 2002, p. 333
  4. cf. Fritz Neumeyer: Source texts for the theory of architecture, Munich: Prestel Verlag 2002, p. 318
  5. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 214.