The Corpus of Antique Works of Art Known by Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his Contemporaries is a data base established by the Winckelmann-Gesellschaft, Stendal, which compiles the knowledge of antique works of art in the 17th and 18th century in both visual and written documentation.
It is focused on the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), the founder of classical archaeology and modern art history. All monuments discussed in his publications, letters and unpublished works are presented in today's state of archeological research and – if identified – illustrated. The correspondent passages from the documents are accessible. Beyond Winckelmann's writings, the monuments are reflected by a considerable number of antiquarian literature from the 17th and 18th century, such as compilations of engravings, which form the contemporary intellectual background of Winckelmann’s studies.
Since 1988, the Winckelmann-Gesellschaft has been dedicating itself to a historical-critical edition of Winckelmann's writings. Initially supported by the Volkswagen-Stiftung in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin as a East-West-German project and later on supported by the Land Sachsen-Anhalt, the editorial project was taken over by the Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur Mainz in 1996. Motivated by research for this edition, the project for a data base was initiated in 1995 and supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Peter Betthausen, Thomas Fröhlich, Volker Heenes, Eva Hofstetter, Brigitte Kuhn and Sascha Kansteiner were responsible for research and entries concerning the data base.
Alongside approximately 9.500 quotations from Winckelmann, the data base provides about 5.000 further document entries from the 17th and 18th century which contain a total of about 2.700 monuments.
Chronologically, the database follows immediately the Census; as well does its data structure. By the fusion of both data bases, which was again made possible by support of the Land Sachsen-Anhalt, the respective data amounts do not only increase document and monument entries, but also further categories like bibliography, locations and persons connected with the history of the monuments as well as of the visual and written sources. The set of documents of the two projects can still be accessed separately by option, but, most particularly, the combined version provides the opportunity of a broader documentation of the classical tradition as well as an instrument for investigation based on a common data structure.