Johann Joachim Winckelmann
Introduction, translation, and commentary by Carol C. Mattusch
This new translation brings to light early scientific archaeology―and the study of Herculaneum and Pompeii―as observed by the erudite and acerbic art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768). His Letter, published in German in 1762, displays his knowledge of geology, ancient literature, and art while offering a scathing critique of the Spanish Bourbon excavations around the Bay of Naples and of the officials involved. He further discusses these topics in his equally controversial Report of 1764.
The introduction describes the context in which these texts were written, identifies various politicians, academics, and collectors, and elucidates topics of particular interest to Winckelmann, from artifacts to local customs to the contents of ancient papyri. The illustrations, particularly those from the Bourbon publication—Le Antichità di Ercolano (1757–92)—illuminate how these monuments influenced contemporary perceptions of the ancient world.
Johann Joachim Winckelmann was a groundbreaking Prussian art historian and author of History of Ancient Art (1764). Carol C. Mattusch is Mathy Professor of Art History at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and author of The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum: Life and Afterlife of a Sculpture Collection (Getty Publications, 2005), which won the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award.240 pages
7 x 10 inches
150 b/w illustrations
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum