Corpus Winckel­mann

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The corpus of ancient monu­ments known to Johann Joachim Winckel­mann and his time is a data­base of the Winckel­mann Society, Stendal, which docu­ments the know­ledge of ancient art in the 17th and 18th centu­ries through images and texts. It is espe­ci­ally focused on the work of Johann Joachim Winckel­mann (1717–1768), the founder of clas­sical archaeo­logy and modern art history.

The ancient monu­ments mentioned in Winckelmann’s publi­ca­tions, letters and notes have been assessed in the context of current archaeo­lo­gical rese­arch and, if they can be iden­ti­fied, have been cata­logued. One can search for example for quota­tions that relate to parti­cular antique monu­ments. Monu­ments appearing in visual and textual anti­qua­rian sources of the 17th and 18th centu­ries, such as in the engra­vings that formed the back­drop to Winckelmann’s studies, are also present in the database.

Since 1988, the Winckel­mann Society has been devoted to the goal of a complete edition of Winckelmann’s writings and intellec­tual legacy. Initi­ally it was supported by the Volks­wagen Foun­da­tion in coope­ra­tion with the Freie Univer­sität in Berlin, then it was funded by the State of Sachsen-Anhalt. The project was trans­ferred to the Academy of Sciences and Lite­ra­ture in Mainz in 1996. The data­base was inspired by rese­arch carried out for this edition. It began in 1995 and was funded by the Deut­sche Forschungs­ge­mein­schaft. Peter Bett­hausen, Thomas Fröh­lich, Volker Heenes, Eva Hofstetter, Brigitte Kuhn and Sascha Kansteiner contri­buted to the rese­arch for the data­base, as well as data entry.

The data­base uses the same data model as the Census, although its chro­no­lo­gical range post­dates that of the Census. In addi­tion to circa 9,500 quota­tions from Winckel­mann, the data­base contains around 5,000 other docu­ments from the 17th and 18th centu­ries, which relate to a total of around 2,700 monuments.

Barto­lomeo Follin, Johann Joachim Winckel­mann, 1766, after a drawing by Giovanni Battistta Casanova


Winckel­mann-Gesell­schaft e.V.
mit Winckel­mann-Museum
Winckel­mannstr. 36–38
D‑39576 Stendal
Tel.: 03931 / 21 52 26
Fax: 03931 / 21 52 27
info [at] winckel­mann-gesell­schaft [dot] com