The New International Encyclopædia/Schnaase, Karl

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SCHNAASE, shnä'ze, Karl (1798-1875). A distinguished German art-historian and jurist, with Rumohr, Waagen, and Kugler, one of the founders of modern art-history, who conceived art in its connection with the universal, cultural, and intellectual life. Born at Danzig, he began the study of law in 1816 and matriculated at Heidelberg also under Hegel, whom he followed to Berlin. Assessor at Königsberg in 1826, he was promoted to other positions at Marienwerder (1829), and at Düsseldorf, where he took great interest in the newly awakening artistic life, and in 1848 was appointed councilor at the Supreme Court in Berlin, but resigned in 1857 to confine himself to his studies. With Grüneisen and Schnorr he founded in 1858 the Christliches Kunstblatt, sojourned in Rome in 1865-66, and settled at Wiesbaden in 1867. As an author he made himself first known by his Niederlandische Briefe (1834), which bore witness to his philosophic-historical conception of art, and was followed by numerous minor treatises and essays. His masterwork, however, is the Geschichte der bildenden Künste (1843-64; 2d ed. 1865-79), which created an epoch in the development of the modern science of art. In contradistinction to other art-histories, based on formal criticism, Schnaase in it sought to deduce the manifestations of artistic production from the physical, moral, and intellectual peculiarities of nations and to demonstrate how all other vital elements pervade artistic life. With rare universality of scientific training he treated art-history as an integral part of the history of civilization. Consult his biography by Lübke (Stuttgart, 1879).