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Drawing and Winckelmann’s taste for elegant simplicity

Professor Amy C. Smith

Professor Smith investigates the contribution of the art of drawing to the commercial exploitation of an evolving taste for simplicity of design, at the end of the eighteenth century. How did the drawn lines made by ancient vase painters differ from those of neoclassical artists who succumbed to their influence? And how did they influence the consumption of drawings on Greek vases?  How were the tastes of pioneer art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) influential in contemporary and later understanding and appreciation of the Greek vase as presented through drawings?


This talk marks the launch of the online exhibit ‘Winckelmann and curiosity in the 18th-century gentleman’s library’, following the successful physical exhibit of the same name at The Upper Library at Christ Church June–November 2018.