1000 Swiss Francs

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Banknotes of Switzerland 1000 Swiss Francs note
Swiss National Bank
Schweizerische Nationalbank - Banque Nationale Suisse - Banca Nazionale Svizzera - Banca Naziunala Svizra

The portrait on the front side of the 1000 franc note shows Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897), one of the most distinguished German-speaking historians of culture of the 19th century. He is famous primarily for his well-founded and artistically sensitive interpretation of the Italian Renaissance and his guide to the art treasures of Italy, a work that has become a classic. Burckhardt's works form the basis for the modern scientific study of art history. His concept of the Renaissance has shaped our understanding of the modern age until today. As a historian, Jacob Burckhardt applied his literary skill to historiography, and his work is considered a classic of academic prose. In particular, he described the main currents in comparable periods which remained constant over time. Instead of presenting a linear description of history, Burckhardt approached the task from a cross-cultural perspective.

Reverse side of the 1000 Swiss francs is showing: Window of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Fragment of Burckhardt's "Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen", Rotunda of the Pantheon in Rome, Fragment of the Pergamon altar.
Antiquity — for Jacob Burckhardt the Pergamon Altar in Berlin was the central expression of Greek art and culture. The section of the frieze shows the struggle between the Titans and the Olympic gods. The altar reflects Burckhardt’s unsentimental approach to Greek antiquity.
Ancient architecture — The Pantheon in Rome, a picture of which hung in Burckhardt’s study, is considered the greatest and most perfect rotunda in ancient Roman architecture. It became a model for the most important buildings of the Renaissance.
The view of history — Jacob Burckhardt breaks history down into historical epochs. He describes them according to the changes that took place in architecture, sculpture and painting and relates these phenomena to government, religion and culture.
The Renaissance — The Renaissance assumes an especially prominent place in Burckhardt’s opus. The 1000 franc banknote shows a section of the façde of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, whose windows are considered to be the finest of that era. The text in the background is taken from Burckhardt’s „Reflections on History”.

Banknote of 1000 Swiss francs has dimensions 181×74 mm and main colors are regalia, purple heart, dark lavender and cinereous. Date of issue of 1000 Swiss francs banknote was 1 April 1998.
Printer: Orell Füssli Arts Graphiques S.A.

1000 franc banknote: Jacob Burckhardt, 1818-1897 Historian of art and culture

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Jacob Burckhardt
Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt (May 25, 1818 – August 8, 1897) was a Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in the historiography of both fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Sigfried 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 Life
Jacob Burckhardt Work
Jacob Burckhardt, Politics

Jacob Burckhardt Life
The son of a Protestant clergyman, Burckhardt was born and died in Basel, where he studied theology in the hope of taking holy orders; however, under the influence of Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette, he chose not to become a clergyman. He finished his degree in 1839 and went to the University of Berlin to study history, especially art history, then a new field. At Berlin, he attended lectures by Leopold von Ranke, the founder of history as a respectable academic discipline based on sources and records rather than personal opinions. He spent part of 1841 at the University of Bonn, studying under the art historian Franz Theodor Kugler, to whom he dedicated his first book, Die Kunstwerke der belgischen Städte (1842). He taught at the University of Basel from 1843 to 1855, then at the Federal Polytechnic School. In 1858, he returned to Basel to assume the professorship he held until his 1893 retirement. He started to teach only art history in 1886. He twice declined offers of professorial chairs at German universities, at the University of Tübingen in 1867 and Ranke's chair at the University of Berlin in 1872.
Burckhardt is currently featured on the Swiss thousand franc banknote.

Jacob Burckhardt Work
Burckhardt's historical writings did much to establish the importance of art in the study of history; indeed, he was one of the "founding fathers of art history" but also one of the original creators of cultural history. According to John Lukacs, he was the first master of cultural history, which seeks to describe the spirit and the forms of expression of a particular age, a particular people, or a particular place. His innovative approach to historical research stressed the importance of art and its inestimable value as a primary source for the study of history. He was one of the first historians to rise above the narrow 19th-century notion that "history is past politics and politics current history." Burckhardt's unsystematic approach to history was strongly opposed to the interpretations of Hegelianism, which was popular at the time; economism as an interpretation of history; and positivism, which had come to dominate scientific discourses (including the discourse of the social sciences).
  In 1838, Burckhardt made his first journey to Italy and published his first important article, "Bemerkungen über schweizerische Kathedralen" ("Remarks about Swiss Cathedrals"). Burckhardt delivered a series of lectures at the University of Basel, which were published in 1943 by Pantheon Books Inc., under the title Force and Freedom: An Interpretation of History by Jacob Burckhardt. In 1847, he brought out new editions of Kugler's two great works, Geschichte der Malerei and Kunstgeschichte, and in 1853, he published his own work, Die Zeit Constantins des Grossen ("The Age of Constantine the Great"). He spent the greater part of the years 1853 and 1854 in Italy, collecting materials for his 1855 Der Cicerone: Eine Anleitung zum Genuss der Kunstwerke Italiens (7th German edition, 1899)("The Cicerone: or, Art-guide to painting in Italy. For the use of travellers" Translated into English by A. H. Clough in 1873), also dedicated to Kugler. The work, "the finest travel guide that has ever been written" which covered sculpture and architecture, and painting, became an indispensable guide to the art traveller in Italy.
  About half of the original edition was devoted to the art of the Renaissance. Thus, Burckhardt was naturally led to write the two books for which he is best known, his 1860 Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien ("The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy") (English translation, by S. G. C. Middlemore, in 2 vols., London, 1878), and his 1867 Geschichte der Renaissance in Italien ("The History of the Renaissance in Italy"). The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy was the most influential interpretation of the Italian Renaissance in the 19th century and is still widely read. While quite controversial, its scholarly judgements are sometimes considered to be justified by subsequent research according to historians including Desmond Seward and art historians notably Kenneth Clark. Burckhardt and the German historian Georg Voigt founded the historical study of the Renaissance. In contrast to Voigt, who confined his studies to early Italian humanism, Burckhardt dealt with all aspects of Renaissance society.
  Burckhardt considered the study of ancient history an intellectual necessity and was a highly respected scholar of Greek civilization. "The Greeks and Greek Civilization" sums up the relevant lectures, "Griechische Kulturgeschichte", which Burckhardt first gave in 1872 and which he repeated until 1885. At his death, he was working on a four-volume survey of Greek civilization.
  "Judgments on History and Historians" is based on Burckhardt's lectures on history at the University of Basel between 1865 and 1885. It provides his insights and interpretation of the events of the entire sweep of Western Civilization from Antiquity to the Age of Revolution, including the Middle Ages, History from 1450 to 1598, the History of the Seventeenth and the Eighteenth Centuries.
  Friedrich Nietzsche, appointed professor of classical philology at Basel in 1869 at the age of 24, admired Burckhardt and attended some of his lectures. Both men were admirers of the late Arthur Schopenhauer. Nietzsche believed Burckhardt agreed with the thesis of his The Birth of Tragedy, that Greek culture was defined by opposing "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" tendencies. Nietzsche and Burckhardt enjoyed each other's intellectual company, even as Burckhardt kept his distance from Nietzsche's evolving philosophy. Their extensive correspondence over a number of years has been published. Burckhardt's student, Heinrich Wölfflin, succeeded him at the University of Basel at the age of only 28.

Jacob Burckhardt, Politics
There is a tension in Burckhardt's persona between the wise and worldly student of the Italian Renaissance and the cautious product of Swiss Calvinism, which he had studied extensively for the ministry. The Swiss polity in which he spent nearly all of his life was a good deal more democratic and stable than was the norm in 19th-century Europe. As a Swiss, Burckhardt was also cool to German nationalism and to German claims of cultural and intellectual superiority. He was also amply aware of the rapid political and economic changes taking place in the Europe of his day and commented in his lectures and writings on the Industrial Revolution, the European political upheavals of his day, and the growing European nationalism and militarism. Events amply fulfilled his prediction of a cataclysmic 20th century, in which violent demagogues (whom he called "terrible simplifiers") would play central roles. In later years, Burckhardt found himself unimpressed by democracy, individualism, socialism and a great many other ideas fashionable during his lifetime.
  He also observed over a century ago that "the state incurs debts for politics, war, and other higher causes and 'progress'.... The assumption is that the future will honor this relationship in perpetuity. The state has learned from the merchants and industrialists how to exploit credit; it defies the nation ever to let it go into bankruptcy. Alongside all swindlers the state now stands there as swindler-in-chief".

1000 franc banknote: Jacob Burckhardt, 1818-1897 Historian of art and culture
Jacob Burckhardt decisively shaped our understanding of the development of our modern culture. He is best known for his scientifically sound and aesthetically appreciative studies of the Italian Renaissance. But Burckhardt was also a persistent and far-sighted critic of the state's aspiration for power. Today Burckhardt is admired as a brilliant historian, seminal art historian and prophetic critic of his age. His writings in historiography are literary accomplishments as well as pioneering works that helped to establish art history as a modern academic discipline.

The Age of Constantine the Great (1853)
Burckhardt's first major work presents the age of the Emperor Constantine the Great as a crucial transitional epoch between the waning ancient world and the rise of Christianity that was pivotal to the development of the culture of the Middle Ages.

The Cicerone (1855)
The Cicerone is a scholarly study of Italian art and a comprehensive history of architecture, sculpture and painting from ancient Rome to the 18th century in the form of a travel guide. For the next sixty years, this work was the unrivalled textbook for German-speaking tourists in Italy.

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860)
Burckhardt's comprehensive and brilliant study of the history of the Renaissance pioneered a fundamental
discussion on the development of the modern age, in particular modern Europe. According to his thesis, mediaeval man saw himself only in terms of society. Modern man's awareness of himself as an individual first emerged only in the Renaissance because that era held individuality in greater esteem.

History of Greek Culture (published posthumously 1898-1902)
The four-volume History of Greek Culture is not structured as a chronological series of events and facts. Rather, it concentrates on the social developments and forces behind the events. Burckhardt was also one of the first to break with the idealist view of ancient Greece by drawing as realistic a picture as possible. By criticizing eminent figures - including Pericles and Plato - he was able to demonstrate the uniqueness of the ancient Greeks' achievements more convincingly than ever.

Force and Freedom: Reflections on History (published posthumously 1905)
The second major work of Burckhardt's later years dealt with fundamental questions of the philosophy of history. Unlike Hegel and Marx, who sought to construct theories to explain all history, culminating in the "end of history itself", Burckhardt sought to identify in historical developments those elements that were constant and typical of all ages.
The heart of his thesis is the "three great powers, state, religion and culture". The historical powers state and
religion preserve the stability of ways of life and claim absolute validity. If necessary, they will use coercion and violence to support their power. Culture, in contrast, offers a space in which man can move freely. State, culture and religion are in constant interaction and have shaped epochs differently. Culture was the determining power in ancient Athens or in Florence in the Renaissance. The religion of Christianity replaced the late-Roman state and dominated the culture of the Middle Ages. The absolutist state seeks to extend its tyranny to all aspects of culture.
The modern centralized state feels threatened by the growing power of technology and industry.
Burckhardt studied not only periods of very gradual development, but also the "accelerated processes", the "crises of history": mass migrations of peoples, "uprisings of classes and castes", events such as the Reformation and the French Revolution. He noted that crises sweep away rigid forms of state and religion to make room for the emergence of new forms, pointing out at the same time the danger of a reversal into terror or militarism. Finally, Burckhardt questioned the role of fortune and misfortune in the history of the world. He was sceptical about any idea that holds out promise of a better society, be it a political utopia, heightened national greatness, economic expansion or the security of civilization. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who saw history exclusively as socalled progress from one epoch to the next, Burckhardt was not blind to the "defeated forces, that were perhaps nobler and better".

1818 - Jacob Burckhardt, the son of a pastor, was born on May 25 in Basel.
1837 - 1843 - Studied theology, history and art history at the Universities of Basel, Berlin and Bonn.
1843 - Visited Paris, where he came into contact with French and Spanish art.
1844 - 1845 - Lecturer in history at the University of Basel while working as a correspondent for the Basler
1846 - 1848 - Visited Rome. Last lengthy visit to Berlin. New editions of his teacher Franz Kugler's textbooks of art history.
1848 - 1852 - Lecturer in Basel.
1853 - 1854 - Journey through the art centres of Italy which laid the foundation for The Cicerone.
1855 - 1858 - Lecturer in art history at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
1858 - 1893 - Held the chair of history and art history at the University of Basel. He travelled regularly, mainly in Italy and France. In 1872 he was offered chairs in Tübingen and Berlin, the latter as successor to his teacher, Leopold von Ranke, both of which he declined.
1897 - Jacob Burckhardt died on August 8 in Basel.