Johann Joachim Winckelmann

(1717—1768) German archaeologist and art historian, born in Prussia

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(1717–68) [Bi]

German scholar and antiquarian who made numerous contributions to the integration of archaeology and art history, emphasizing that classical texts were not the only source of information on ancient times. Born in Stendal, Prussia, he attended the local grammar school before a brief period in Berlin, and from 1737 he studied theology at the University of Halle. From 1743 he was a private tutor and school teacher until in 1748 he found a position as librarian of the collection of Imperial Count Heinrich von Bünau near Dresden. Fascinated by the library and Dresden, it was here that he developed his interest in the history of art. In 1755 he moved to Rome, where he remained for thirteen years, tirelessly searching for new knowledge and working in a variety of libraries. He is best known in archaeological circles for his work on the art of Pompeii and Herculaneum.


M. Kunze, 1999, Johann Joachim Winckelmann. In T. Murray (ed.), Encyclopedia of archaeology, I: The great archaeologists. Oxford: ABC‐Clio, 51–63

Subjects: Art.

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