Lot #234
Johann Joachim Winckelmann

Rare letter from the influential ‘father of art history’ to his publisher
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Rare letter from the influential ‘father of art history’ to his publisher

German art historian and archaeologist (1717–1768) who was a pioneer of scientific archaeology and the first to articulate the differences between Greek, Greco-Roman, and Roman art. ALS in German, signed “Winckelmann,” one page, 6.75 x 4.75, February 18, 1764. Letter to his publisher, Georg Konrad Walther, after the printing of his magnum opus Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums [History of Ancient Art]. Winckelmann informs Walther that he has received the second bill of exchange. In very good condition, with several vertical folds (two passing through letters of the signature) and moderate foxing (heaviest to the lower blank area). Considered by many the father of the discipline of art history, the influence of Winckelmann’s writings extended into Western painting, sculpture, literature, and philosophy. The book this letter concerns, his History of Ancient Art, was one of the first books written in German to become a classic of European literature. It presents a thorough, chronological account of all antique art, exploring the art produced by each civilization in terms of organic growth, maturity, and decline. An extreme rarity from the time of this important work. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: December 19 - January 14

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA DNA Precertified Letter
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