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History of the Art of Antiquity

Johann Joachim Winckelmann
Introduction by Alex Potts
Translation by Harry Francis Mallgrave

In 1764, Johann Joachim Winckelmann published a key early instance of art-historical thinking—his Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums, here translated into English for the first time. Dazzled by the sensuous and plastic beauty of recently excavated artifacts—coins, engraved gems, vases, paintings, reliefs, and statues—Winckelmann synthesized the visual and written evidence then available into a systematic history of art in ancient Egypt, Persia, Etruria, Rome, and, above all, Greece. His passionate yet detailed inquiry investigates the idea of beauty over time and space, offering a chronological and descriptive account whose conceptual and historical paradigms have been reiterated and contested into the twentieth century. The introduction not only sketches the circumstances that shaped Winckelmann's project but also assesses this scholar's indelible influence on European intellectual life—for both modern art history and archaeology commence with Winckelmann. 

Alex Potts is Max Loehr Collegiate Professor of History of Art and chair of the department of the history of art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Harry Francis Mallgrave is an architectural historian and the translator of several other volumes in the Getty Research Institute's Texts & Documents series.

"A must for all those interested in the evolution of art history as a humanistic discipline."

448 pages
7 x 10 inches
38 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-0-89236-668-2

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Research Institute
Series: Texts & Documents