Wölfflin, Heinrich hīn´rĭkh völf´lĭn [key], 1864–1945, Swiss art historian. Wölfflin's formal stylistic analysis of motifs and composition in art combined cultural history and psychological insight into the creative process to form a complete aesthetic system. His theory of form greatly influenced the development of art criticism. Wölfflin's ideas were spread through his teaching (1893–1934) at the universities of Basel, Berlin, Munich, and Zürich, and through his books, Renaissance und Barock (1888), Classic Art (1899, tr. 1953), and his most celebrated work, Principles of Art History (1915, tr. 1932).
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