Winckelmanns Philosophy of Art: A Prelude to German Classicism

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9781443840040: Winckelmanns Philosophy of Art: A Prelude to German Classicism
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It is the aim of this work to examine the pivotal role of Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) as a judge of classical sculpture and as a major contributor to German art criticism. I seek to identify the key features of his treatment of classical beauty, particularly in his famous descriptions of large-scale classical sculpture. Five case studies are offered to demonstrate the academic classicism that formed the core of his philosophy of art. I aim to establish his place in the development of the German language; his prose contributed to a literary style that was suitable for the expression of an emotional response to visual experiences. His use of rhetoric in the assessment of classical art, however, make his judgements propagandist rather than analytical. The published works of Winckelmann, his draft essays and his collected private correspondence are advanced as criteria in the evaluation of his impact on the development of German classicism that culminated in the Weimar group of poets and writers. His Grecophile enthusiasm, however, led him to introduce stylistic categories in the development of classical marble sculpture that are no longer regarded as truly reflecting the evolution of Greco-Roman art. Thus his historicity and his classification of styles remain in doubt. Winckelmann proposed that the training of modern artists should concentrate on the observation and imitation of classical models instead of looking to nature as the source of inspiration. This plan succeeded to some extent in the generation that followed his untimely death. Throughout the succeeding century artists and their sponsors did favour classical models and developed stylistic classicism in European freestanding sculpture, in painting and in architecture.

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About the Author:

I was born in 1918 and spent my childhood in my Jewish family household in a small town in Czechoslovakia. I passed the examinations at the Gymnasium at age 18 (Abitur). When Austria and the Sudetenland were occupied by the Germans (1938) I escaped to Holland and I came to England as a student. When the air attacks on London began in 1940 I joined the Rescue Service of Bermondsey and two years later I joined the RAF as trainee pilot. I changed my name from Jan Neuburg to John North. At the end of the war I travelled to Chile where I joined the British airline (BSAA) as Traffic Officer. I returned to England in 1958 and remained with BOAC-BA as Project Manager in the IT department. I studied at evening classes and gained a Diploma in Archaeology at London University in 1970. After retirement (1983) I studied Classical Civilisation at Birkbeck College in 1996 and obtained an M.A. I continued studying Classics at Holloway University but changed to the Linguistics department of Queen Marys University of London where I gained the Doctorate in Philosophy.

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9781443845885: Winckelmann's 'Philosophy of Art': A Prelude to German Classicism

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ISBN 10:  1443845884 ISBN 13:  9781443845885
Publisher: Not Avail, 2014
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John Harry North
Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2012)
ISBN 10: 1443840041 ISBN 13: 9781443840040
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Book Description Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1443840041

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