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HERMANN THEODOR HETTNER (1821-1882)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 415 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HERMANN THEODOR HETTNER (1821-1882), German literary historian and writer on the history of art, was born at Leisersdorf, near Goldberg, in Silesia, on the 12th of March 1821. At the universities of Berlin, Halle and Heidelberg he devoted himself chiefly to the study of philosophy, but in 1843 turned his attention to aesthetics, art and literature. With a view to furthering these studies, he spent three years in Italy, and, on his return, published a Vorschule zur bildenden Kunst der Alten (1848) and an essay on Die neapolitanischen Malerschulen. He became Privaldozent for aesthetics and the history of art at Heidelberg and, after the publication of his suggestive volume on Die romantische Schule in ihrem Zusammenhang mit Goethe and Schiller (185o), accepted a call as professor to Jena where he lectured on the history of both art and literature. In 1855 he was appointed director of the royal collections of antiquities and the museum of plaster casts at Dresden, to which posts were subsequently added that of director of the historical museum and a professorship at the royal Polytechnikum. He died in Dresden on the 29th of May 1882. Hettner's chief work is his Literaturgeschichte des 18ten Jahrhunderts, which appeared in three parts, devoted respectively to English, French and German literature, between 1856 and 1870 (5th ed. of I. and II., revised by A. Brandl and H. Morf, 1894; 4th of III., revised by O. Harnack, 1894). Although to some extent influenced by the political and literary theories of the Hegelian school, which, since Hettner's day have fallen into discredit, and at times losing sight of the main issues of literary development over questions of social evolution, this work belongs to the best histories that the 19th century produced. Hettner's judgment is sound and his point of view always original and stimulating. His other works include Griechische Reiseskizzen (1853), Das moderne Drama (1852)—a book that arose from a correspondence with Gottfried Keller—Italienische Siudien (1879), and several works descriptive of the Dresden art collections. His Kleine Schriften were collected and published in 1884. See A. Stern, Hermann Hettner, ein Lebensbild (1885) ; H. Spitzer, H. Hettners kunstphilosophische Anfange and Literalurdsthetik (1903). HETTSTEDT, a town of Germany, in Prussian Saxony, on the Wipper, and at the junction of the railways Berlin-Blankenheim and Hettstedt-Halle, 23 M. N.W. of the last town. Pop. (1905), 9230. It has a Roman Catholic and four Evangelical churches, and has manufactures of machinery, pianofortes and artificial manure. In the neighbourhood are mines of argentiferous copper, and the surrounding district and villages are occupied with smelting and similar works. Silver and sulphuric acid are the other chief products; nickel and gold are also found in small quantities. In the Kaiser Friedrich mine close by, the first steam-engine in Germany was erected on the 23rd of August 1785. Hettstedt is mentioned as early as 1046; in 1220 it possessed a castle; and in 1380 it received civic privileges. When the countship of Mansfeld was sequestrated, Hettstedt came into the possession of Saxony, passing to Prussia in 1815.
End of Article: HERMANN THEODOR HETTNER (1821-1882)
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