Classic 19th century history book.According to Wikipedia: "Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt (May 25, 1818, Basel, Switzerland – August 8, 1897, Basel) was a historian of art and culture, and an influential figure in the historiography of each field. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history, albeit in a form very different from how cultural history is conceived and studied in academia today. 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).
Jacob Burckhardt was born in 1818 in Basel, Switzerland. He studied history at the University of Berlin and taught art history and the Italian Renaissance in Berlin and Basel. His essay, as he called The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, was first published in 1860. Rich in its detailed account of the arts, fashions, manners, and thought of one of the most innovative eras in human history, this brilliant panorama of Renaissance life is also a thorough examination of the nature of civilization and of our place within it. Burckhardt's encyclopedic knowledge, his mastery of style, and his genius for synthesis make this one of the few classics of history and the prototype for cultural history. Burckhardt's The Age of Constantine the Great and Cicerone were published in his lifetime, and The History of Greek Civilization and Reflections on World History after his death in 1897.
This great work redefined our sense of the European past, wholly reinterpreting what has since been known simply as the Italian Renaissance. Within the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt finds the first stirrings of the modern world-and in the Renaissance Italian, the first modern man. In this landmark study of Italy from the fourteenth through the early sixteenth century, Burckhardt chronicles the rise of Florence and Venice as powerful city-states, the breakup of the medieval worldview that came with the rediscovery of Greek and Roman culture, and the new emphasis on the role of the individual. All these, Burckhardt explains, went hand in hand with the explorations of science and contributed to the more naturalistic depiction of the world in art and literature. His book-length essay includes discussions of all aspects of Italian civilization: the art, fashion, literature, and music of the time, as well as the flourishing intellectual and spiritual life.