Wilhelm Worringer

Josh Dittrich (University of Toronto)
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Wilhelm Worringer (1881-1965) was a German art historian who exerted a subtle but enduring influence both in and beyond his academic field. His work as an art critic was crucial to the aesthetic development of German Expressionism and European modernism, and his first and most famous book,

Abstraktion und Einfühlung


Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style

, 1908) – besides being a perennial reference for art historians – has had a distinct impact on literary theory and philosophy in Europe and North America. Considered one of the first theorists of aesthetic abstraction in the twentieth century, as well as one of the first critics to coin the term “Expressionist”, Worringer also speaks to a complex legacy of nineteenth-century vitalist thought (

1878 words

Citation: Dittrich, Josh. "Wilhelm Worringer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5978, accessed 25 July 2024.]

5978 Wilhelm Worringer 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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