Winckelmania at Reading

As members of the International Winckelmann Committee, we are working in and out of the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology to celebrate the Winckelmann anniversaries 2017–2018, remembering the work of the Prussian art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) and his influence on the reception of the taste for classics in Europe. Like many antiquarians of his day, Winckelmann first encountered the classics through literary texts and Grand Tourist souvenirs. Once in Rome, where he rose to prominence at Prefect of Antiquities in the Vatican, Winckelmann studied the remains of Greek, Graeco-Roman and Roman art on a larger scale. Through personal contacts, letters and other writings, Winckelmann influenced his and subsequent generations of scholars, aesthetes, collectors, craftsmen and artists both within and beyond Italy.

With colleagues in London (Kings College and the Warburg Institute) and Oxford we presented a series of workshops on the theme Under the Greek Sky: Taste and the Reception of Classical art from Winckelmann to the present. 

Select essays emerging from this initiative are now published online in a special section of vol. 25 of the Journal of Art Historiography (open access)— Under the Greek sky: New approaches to Winckelmann’s reception and historiographyedited by Dr Fiona Gatty (Oxford) & Prof Amy C. Smith (Reading)