Johann Joachim Winckelmann

1717 - 1768

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

country of citizenship:  Kingdom of Prussia
languages spoken, written or signed:  GermanFrench

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (; German: [ˈvɪŋkl̩man]; 9 December 1717 – 8 June 1768) was a German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the differences between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. "The prophet and founding hero of modern archaeology", Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Many consider him the father of the discipline of art history. He was one of the first to separate Greek Art into periods, and time classifications.He had a decisive influence on the rise of the Neoclassical movement during the late 18th century. His writings influenced not only a new science of archaeology and art history but Western painting, sculpture, literature and even philosophy. Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art (1764) was one of the first books written in German to become a classic of European literature. His subsequent influence on Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich Heine, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan George and Oswald Spengler has been provocatively called "the Tyranny of Greece over Germany".Winckelmann was homosexual, and open homoeroticism formed his writings on aesthetics. In 1752, he mentioned the "lust" which could be experienced with the "divine monarch" (i.e. Frederick the Great) in Potsdam in a similar way as in "Athens and Sparta", and which he could enjoy so immensely that he would never again be allowed to. His homosexuality was recognized by his contemporaries, such as Goethe. In 1768, at the age of 50, he was murdered by a fellow guest at his hotel, for reasons that remain unclear. Source: Wikipedia (en)


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