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Winckelmann and the Invention of AntiquityHistory and Aesthetics in the Age of Altertumswissenschaft$
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Katherine Harloe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695843

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695843.001.0001

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‘Placez moi dans un coin de Votre Bibliotheque’: Winckelmann’s career in Germany and his self-positioning within the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters

‘Placez moi dans un coin de Votre Bibliotheque’: Winckelmann’s career in Germany and his self-positioning within the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 ‘Placez moi dans un coin de Votre Bibliotheque’: Winckelmann’s career in Germany and his self-positioning within the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters
Source:
Winckelmann and the Invention of Antiquity
Author(s):

Katherine Harloe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695843.003.0002

Chapter 2 locates Winckelmann’s early life and works within two of their most important cultural and intellectual contexts: the patronage networks of ancien-régime Europe and the cosmopolitan scholarly community of the Republic of Letters. The first two sections draw on social-historical studies to present Winckelmann’s education and early employment as comparable to those of other bright but poor students in eighteenth-century Germany, for whom charity and education provided means of social mobility. The next two sections examine his daring bid for employment in Heinrich von Bünau’s household, arguing that the codes of conduct licensed within the Republic of Letters, and absorbed by Winckelmann from books, are crucial to understanding this change. Winckelmann’s early reading is surveyed, and the chapter closes with a discussion of the Gedancken über die Nachahmung (1755), his first work, arguing that it too should be read as a display of erudition in hope of patronage.

Keywords:   patronage, Republic of Letters, erudition, reading, poor students, Heinrich von Bünau, social mobility

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