WINCKELMANN’S APOLLO AND THE PHYSIOGNOMY OF RACE
The taste for classical art that induced museums in the West to acquire masterpieces from ancient Greece and Rome for their collections was stimulated largely by the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann. In the past decade, a number of articles have claimed that Winckelmann’s glorification of marble statues representing the white, male body promotes notions of white supremacy. The present article challenges this view by examining theories prevalent in the eighteenth century (especially climate theory) that affected Winckelmann’s views on race. Through an examination of different types of classicism, the article also seeks to demonstrate that Winckelmann’s aesthetics were opposed to the eclectic use of ancient models typical of the fascist regimes of the twentieth century.
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