The aim of this project is to map and publish in a critical edition the extensive correspondence of European intellectuals with the Swiss cultural historian Jacob Burckhardt over a period of more than half a century, from 1842 to 1897. This correspondence documents a crucial period in European history and culture, one which witnessed the emergence of art history as a separate discipline; serious political conflict in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland; the birth of the nation-states of Italy and Germany; debate on the meaning and consequences of democracy as a system of government; and the rise of Caesarism in France. The effects of modernism are also discussed in this correspondence, from the culture of museums, art exhibitions and the first universal expositions (e.g. the Expositions Universelles in Paris) to the clash between industrial culture and neo-humanist ideals of education. The large body of correspondence received by Jacob Burckhardt (about two thousand letters conserved in various libraries and private archives) provides a cultural map of this crucial phase in the development of a new European identity.
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