The man who wrote art history
by | 07 April 17
Winckelmann’s 1764 book The History of Art in Antiquity claimed classical Greek sculpture as the genesis of all subsequent art and the canonical standard of artistic perfection, which powerfully influenced later European thought and art, especially Neo-Classicism. (His phrase, “edle Einfalt und stille Grösse”—noble simplicity and quiet grandeur—could be the slogan of Neo-Classical style.) His writings, which have a strong current of homoeroticism, corresponded with and resulted from Enlightenment thought and had a long afterlife in the works of the thinkers like Lessing and Goethe. Included in the exhibition will be contemporary works by artists such as Bettina Rheims, who has made work with Winckelmann in mind.