Electronic correlations strongly influence the properties of matter. For example, they can induce a discontinuous transition from conducting to insulating behavior. In this paper basic terms of the physics of correlated electrons are explained. In particular, I describe some of the steps that led to the formulation of a comprehensive, non-perturbative many-body approach to correlated quantum many-body systems, the dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT). The DMFT becomes exact in the limit of high lattice dimensions (d → ∞) and allows one to go beyond the investigation of simple correlation models and thereby better understand, and even predict, the properties of electronically correlated materials.