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Antiquarianism, the History of Objects, and the History of Art before Winckelmann Author(s): Thomas DaCosta

Antiquarianism, the History of Objects, and the History of Art before Winckelmann Author(s): Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 62, No. 3 (Jul., 2001), pp. 523-541 Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press Stable URL:

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ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

To the Memory of Franklin LeVan Baumer.

In lightofpostmoderist and poststructuralist trendsinthehumanitieswhich havecontestednotionsof originality andof authorship, it might seem surprising thatone outstandingmyth of the eighteenthcentury hasnot yet been thoroughly challenged. Thisis theclaimmade by JohannJoachimWinckelmannin thefore- wordto the GeschichtederKunstdes Altertums,originallypublished in 1764, that he hadcreatedanew history of artwhichwas distinctfroma history of artistsand alsodifferentfromwhathad previously beenwrittenabout antiquities(Altertiimer):

The history of the artof antiquity, which I have undertakento write, is no mere account of the chronological orderand change of art, but I take the word history in the wider sense, thatit has in the Greeklan-

But the

guage, and my intentionis to offer an attempt at a system

essenceof artis in everypart themosteminent aim, in whichthe history of artistshas little influence, andthis [sort of history of artists], which

hasbeen compiledby others, is thereforenot to be sought here

who havetreated antiquities, examineeither only suchwhereerudition

was to be applied, or, if they speak of art, this happens in


part with

common eulogies, or theirjudgment is builton peculiar, false grounds.'

1 JohannJoachim Winckelmann, Geschichteder Kunstdes Altertums (Sdmtliche Werke 3, ed. JosephEisebein)(Donaueschingen,1825), 10-11:"DieGeschichtederKunstdes Altertums, welche ich zu schreiben unterommen habe, ist keine bloBe Erzahlung der Zeitfolge und der Veranderung in derselben, sondem ich nehme das WortGeschichtein der weiter Bedeutung,

dasselbein der griechischeSprachehat, undmeineAbsicht ist, einenVersucheines Lehrgebiiudes

zu liefem

Endzweck, in welches die Geschichteder Kiinstler wenig Einflul hat, und diese, welche von


WesenderKunstaberist in diesem sowohl, als in jedem Theile, dervomehmste

anderen zusammengetragenworden, hatmanalso hiernichtzu suchen

diejenigen, welche von


Copyright 2001 by Journalofthe History of Ideas, Inc.


Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

Wolf Lepenies once described this claim as one of the many foundational

myths of the Enlightenment and presented instead some parallels between the

writing of art history and natural history in the eighteenth century.2 As

in the historiography of art has revived, publications have continued to pour forth on Winckelmann.3 Yet the critique suggested by Lepenies has largely not been followed. Winckelmann's claim to originality remains a starting or major turning point for most accounts of the history of the discipline of art history.4

Altertiimemhandeln, verh6renentwedernur dasjenige, wo Gelehrsamkeit anzubringenwar, oder wenn sie von der Kunst reden, geschiehet es theils mit allgemeinenLobspriichen, oder ist ihr Urtheilauf fremdefalsche Griindegebauet." All translationsarethe author's.

2 See Wolf Lepenies, "Fastein Poet: JohannJohannJoachimWinckelmanns Begriindung der Kunstgeschichte," in Autorenund Wissenschaftler im 18. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1988), 91- 120, and "DerandereFanatiker. Historisierung und Wissenschaftlichung der Kunstauffassung bei JohannJoachim Winckelmann," Ideal und Wirklichkeitder bildendenKunstim spdten 18. Jahrhundert (FrankfurterForschungen zur Kunst,XI), ed. Herbert Beck, PeterC. Bol, andEva Maek-Gerard (Berlin, 1982), 21-29.

3 See Alex Potts, Flesh and the Ideal: Winckelmannand the Origins of Art History (New Haven, 1994), "PoliticalAttitudesandtheRise of HistoricisminArt Theory," Art History(1978), 191-213; "Winckelmann'sConstructionof History," Art History, 5 (1982), 377-406; "Vie et mortde l'art antique: Historicit6et beauidealchez Winckelmann," in Winckelmann:la naissance de I'histoire de l'art a I'epoque des Lumieres.Actes du cycle de confirences prononcees d l 'AuditoriumduLouvredu 11 decembre1989 au 12fevrier 1990, ed. EdouardPommier (Paris, 1991), 9-38; and"Winckelmann's Interpretation of the History of Art in its EighteenthCentury Context" (Ph. D. diss., WarburgInstitute,University of London, 1977). See also Herbertvon Einem, "Winckelmannund die Wissenschaft der Kunstgeschichte," and Max L. Baeumer, "Klassizitit und republikanische Freiheitin der aul3erdeutschenWinckelmann-Rezeption des

18. Jahrhunderts," inJohannJoachimWinckelmann 1717-1768, ed.ThomasW. Gaehtgens(Ham-


burg, 1986), 315-26, and 195-211; Michael Fried,"Antiquity Now: Reading Winckelmannon Imitation,"October, 37 (1986), 87-97; Francis Haskell, "Winckelmannet son influence surles historiens," and Michel Espagne, "La diffusion de la culture allemande dans la France des

Lumieres.Les amis de J.-G. Wille et l'echo de Winckelmann," in Winckelmann, ed. Pommier,

83-99 and 101-35; Maria Fancelli, "Winckelmannnel giudizio

di Goethe," in J.J. Winckelmann

tra letteraturae archeologia (Venice, 1993), 31-45; Whitney Davis, "WinckelmannDivided:

Mourning the Death of Art History," in Whitney Davis et al. (ed.), Gay andLesbian Studiesin Art History(New York, 1994), 141-59 (originallypublished in KunstlerischerAustausch/Artis-

tic Exchange, ed.

Winckelmann:Das Florentiner Winckelmann-Manuskript, intro.Maria Fancelli, ed. MaxKunze

(Florence, 1994); Heinrich Dilly, "1738:Versune topographie de la notion d'art," Histoire de I'histoire de l'art de 1'Antiquite au xviiie siecle, ed. EdouardPommier (Paris, 1995), I, 303-26; Edouard Pommier, "Winckelmann:des vies d'artistesa l'histoirede l'art," inLes Vies d'artistes,

Thomas Gaehtgens[Berlin, 1993], 673-80); IIManoscrittoFiorentinodi J.J.

ed. MatthiasWaschek (Paris, 1996), 207-36; JeffreyMorrison, Winckelmannand the Notion of

Aesthetic Education (Oxford,

1996); Barbara Steindl, "Zwischen Kennerschaft und


Zuden Werk-beschreibungen

beiWinckelmannund Cicognara," inJohann

DominicusFiorillo unddie romantische Bewegungen von 1800

The thesis thatWinckelmanncreateda completely new history of artis for example re- statedin the most recenteditionof Udo Kultermann, Geschichteder Kunstgeschichte.DerWeg einer Wissenschaft(Munich, 19903),53ff, and Germain Bazin, L'histoirede I'histoirede l'art (Paris,1986), 94ff. ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann, "BeforeWinckelmann:Towardsthe Origins of the History of Art,"Knowledge, Science andLiteraturein the Early Modern Period, ed. Gerhild Scholz Williams and Stephan K. Schindleret al. (ChapelHill, 1996), 71-89, and "Antiquarian Connoisseurship andArt History beforeWinckelmann:Some EvidencefromNorthern Europe,"





It may be that Winckelmann's claim has remained largely unchallenged be- cause his differentiation of his accomplishment from that of Gelehrsamkeit in

particular coincides with and helps to support anotherdistinction made at his time, that between "philosophy," or criticism, and erudition, the latter being at best

necessary but inferior.5This distinction, which was fostered by

the philosophes and

their counterparts in other countries, has been frequently heard in scholarly de-

bates, and it is echoed in currentdiscussions where empirical scholarship is dis-

paraged in favor of what is

century the Enlightenment came in for heavy going starting with at least the cri- tique of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adomo,7 this is one Enlightenment opinion which, despite the rise of critical theory among other trends in recent

scholarship, has gained in fashion, especially in the English-speaking world. But the contrast between philosophy, or critique, and erudition makes a distinction that is ultimately untenable, even if it is also one that has continued

to dominate many views of the history of eighteenth-century scholarship. The case at hand suggests that supposed innovations of the eighteenth century in the historiography of art, as in many other fields of study, are much more bound

up with late humanism and encyclopedism than their promulgators might have wished to admit. Scholars of a number of disciplines have begun to revise in- terpretations of the role of the so-called antiquarians of the sixteenth to eigh- teenth centuries-those who dealt with Altertiimer.8 Some recent studies of the historiography of art have pointed to some connections between the antiquar-

ian tradition and that of the historiography of art.9These approaches, however, have primarily dealt with Italian and French writers and, moreover, have left Winckelmann's position largely untouched.10Winckelmann's situation in the


often now called Theory.6 Thus while in the twentieth

in Shop Talk:Studiesin Honor of Seymour Slive (Cambridge,Mass., 1995), 130-32, 340, how- ever, offer informationon Winckelmann'santecedentsthat supportLepenies's initial observa-

tion. The


utilizes some materialfromthese




See Amaldo Momigliano, "Ancient History andthe Antiquarian," Journal of the


and Courtauld Institutes, 13 (1950), 307ff, andAstrid Witschi-Bemz, "Maintrendsin Histori-

cal-MethodLiterature:Sixteenthto EighteenthCenturies,"History and Theory, 12 (1972), 56ff. 6 For earlier examples see Hans Sedlmayr, "Zu einer strengen Kunstwissenschaft," Kunstwissenschaftliche Forschungen, 1 (1931), reprinted as "Kunstgeschichte als Kunst- geschichte," in Hans Sedlmayr, Kunstund Wahrheit.Zur Theorieund Methode der Kunstge- schichte (Mittenwald,1978),49-80; also Christopher S. Wood, TheViennaSchoolReader:Poli- tics andArtHistoricalMethodin the 1930s (New York,2000).


8 See thework ofFrancoiseWaquet, Gabriela Valera, Peter Miller,AnthonyGrafton,among others. 9 See Francis Haskell,History and its Images. Artand the Interpretationof thePast (New

Haven, 1993); Gabriele Bickendorf, Die Historisierung der italienischen Kunstbetrachtung im

17. und 18.Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1998);Ingo Herklotz, Cassianodal Pozzo unddie Archdologie

des 17.

Kinnes andGillianVamdell

Jahrhunderts (Munich, 1999), and Alain Schnapp, The Discovery of the Past, tr. Ian

7 Max HorkheimerandTheodorW. Adorno, Dialektikder

(New York, 1997).

10 Bickendorf,Historisierung,275, creditsWincklemannwith replacing series of histories (Geschichten) withaunified history andwith binding artintoa general cultural history.Schnapp, Discovery of the Past, 262, says that Winckelmann "destroyed the antiquarian model which


broader European historicaland geographical context also remains relatively unclearso long as the beginnings of the historiography of artin the German- speakingworld, inwhichhe wasbornand educated, remain largely unexamined. This essay reconsiderssome aspects of a largebody of literaturein German

and, a sign of thecontinuationof humanistand encyclopedictraditions, in Latin,by northern European and especially German authors, thatisearlierthanWinckelmann. The traditions they represent not only evolved into but may also be relatedto publications which specifically employed the term history of art (Geschichte der Kunst,Kunstgeschichte), in a sense not so farfromWinckel-mann'sbefore his book appeared; Winckelmanneven grudgingly admittedthe existence of some such writings butdeniedthat anyprevious writerhad said anythingpen- etrating about art.11These traditions, whose outlines have been adumbrated elsewhere, nevertheless belong to a largergroup of sourcesforWinckelmann's work.12 Indeed,theymay well establishanevenmoredirectand primary context forWincklemann'sideasthando themorefamiliarFrench, English, andItalian sourceswhich have been previously adducedin referenceto his writings.13 A reassessmentof Winckelmann'sGerman predecessorsmay begin with a reconsiderationof the first major book in the German language thatdiscussed the history of art, Joachim von Sandrart'sTeutscheAcademie (Academia Todesca) of 1675-79. Both for its biographical contentsand for its apparently antiquarian characterSandrart'swork has however been contrastedwith his- torywriting of the eighteenthcentury. Sandrart published lives of the ancient, Italian,German, andNetherlandish artists, and it is for these thathis book is largely remembered.But his three-volume opus containedmuch more:it was an extensive compendium of art theory and practical advice meantto aid the artist,scholar, and connoisseur, which included guides to Ovid's Metamorpho- ses andto artistic symbolism and descriptions andillustrationsof antiquesculp- tureandancientand contemporary Roman buildings.14 Since WilhelmWaetzoldt'sDeutscheKunsthistoriker (1921) Sandrarthas

rightly been regarded as

path to Winckelmannin more ways than one: he not only initiateda serious literatureof artin Germanwhich provided artists' biographies, but he brought

ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

a forerunnerof Winckelmann.15 Sandrart opened the

made history subservientto object" and"setoutto explain a culture by its objects." Haskellalso drawsWinckelmanninto his account, History and its Images, 217, of the "artsas an index of society." 1 Winckelmann, Geschichteder Kunst, ed. cit., 10: "Es sind einige Schrifenunterdem Namen einer Geschichte der Kunst an das Licht getreten: aber die Kunst hat einen geringen Antheil an derselben, denn ihre Verfasserhaben sich mit derselbennicht genug verkehrt, und k6nntenalso nicht geben, als was sie aus Bfichem, odervon Sagenhoren halten.An das Wesen undzu dem InnernderKunstfiihretfast kein Scribent 12 Kaufmann, "BeforeWinckelmann."

13 E.g., Potts, "Winckelmann's Interpretation"; and Haskell,History and its Images. 14Joachimvon Sandrart, L'AcademiaTodescadella Architectura,Scultura&Pittura:Oder



Mahlerey-Kiinste (3 vols.;Nuremberg,1675-1679).


Wilhelm Waetzoldt, DeutscheKunsthistoriker (Berlin, 19863), 23-42.


together muchof thesortof materialoutof whicha latercriticismand history of art couldbe constituted.In gatheringtogether an even larger amountof visual and textualinformationthanhis humanistand antiquarianpredecessors had done, his effort may be relatedto a pattern whichhasbecomefamiliarfromotherareasof scholarship,by whichanearlier generation assemblesmaterialsthatare employed forlaterconstructions. Nevertheless, Sandrart's accomplishment has been distinguished from Winckelmann'sandthatof his contemporariesby twentieth-centuryscholarship ina way thatechoeswhatWinckelmann himself,eighteenth-centuryphilosophes,

andsome nineteenth-century Gelehrte might havesaid.Waetzoldtsetthetonefor

subsequentinterpretations when he criticizedSandrart's accomplishment. He emphasized the shortcomings of Sandrart's biographies, and distinguished Sandrart'serudition (Gelehrsamkeit) fromthetrue Wissenschaft of art history. For

WaetzoldtSandrart'serudition represented a prescientific(vorwissen-schaftlich) conditionwhich would only change with Winckelmann.16 Subsequently, stan- dardworkssuchasUdo Kultermann'sGeschichteder Kunst-geschichte havethus describedSandrartas the Vasariof the north, the authorof artists' biographies:

the German painter-historian is noteworthymainly as thetranslatorof thework of Vasariandof his Netherlandish equivalent, Karelvan Mander.'7Inan impor- tant essay RobertoSalvinitreatedSandrart similarly, as the thirdin the triadof historiographersbegunby his sources, Vasariandvan Mander, andSalvinialso notedthatSandrart's writing was a product of the laterseventeenth century.'8

Christian Klemm, authorof the best monograph on Sandrart's paintings,19 has elaboratedthese themes in a comprehensive introductionto the first two volumes of a facsimile edition of the TeutscheAcademie. Klemm recounts Sandrart'ssourcesandhis role in the continuationandtranslationof the tradi- tionof artists' biographies, andhe also relateshimto the intellectualcurrentsof his time. Klemm therebyrecognizes some of the newer historiographical con- tent found in Sandrart's book, including the presence of antiquarian materials

not found in

Klemm also traces the impact on the text of Sigismund von Birken, the Nurembergpoet andmemberof the orderof the Pegnitzschdfer, andrelatesthe composition of Sandrart's compendium to the traditionof the polyhistors.20 YetlikeWaetzoldt's comparison of Sandrart'sto other contemporary schol- arlyaccomplishments of the seventeenth century, this is not to be regarded as a


earlierworks that may be related to the historiography of art.

16 Waetzoldt, Deutsche Kunsthistoriker, 42.

17 Kultermann, Geschichteder

Kunstgeschichte, 30-31.

8 Roberto Salvini, "L'ereditadel Vasari storiografo in Germania:Joachimvon Sandrart," in

II Vasari storiografo e artista (Atti del congresso internazionalenel IV centenariodella morte

1974) (Florence, 1976), 759-71. 19Christian Klemm, Joachimvon Sandrart.Kunst WerkeundLebens Lauf(Berlin, 1986).

20 Klemm, "PfadedurchSandrartsTeutsche Academie," in Joachimvon SandrartTeutsche

Academieder Bau- Bild- und Mahlerey-Kiinste Niirnberg 1675-1680 in urspriinglicher Form neu gedruckt miteiner Einleitung vonChristianKlemm (Nordlingen,1994),9-32, with bibliography.


favorableevaluation.21Klemmis sympathetic neitherto Sandrart'sformof schol- arship nor to his style of literaryexpression.According to Klemm, Sandrart's work is "encyclopedic" in an older sense, ratherthan systematic like the Encyclopedie of the eighteenthcentury. Klemmconcludeshis assessmentwith

a negative comparison of Sandrart's historiography to the dilettantic pedantry of the polyhistors, "sowe mustclass Sandrartas a writerof history indeedwith

the 'polyhistors' of his century, who half-dilettantishlypile up material, com- pletely untouched by those currentswhich pointed to the futureand which at thattime were being prepared in Paris."22 Klemm's description of the "polyhistoriccharacter, the bloated expansion of antiquarianknowledge withoutcriticism" ("polyhistorischeCharakter, das

aufschwemmendAusbreitenvon antiquarischen Wissen Sandrart'ssecond volume deserves further scrutiny. Much

been recognized as distinctivein Sandrartcanbe regarded as a positive andnot negativeproduct of his time. The relationof Sandrart's writings to learnedtra- ditions may be further amplifiedby other, earlier seventeenth-century worksin Latinon the theory of artandthe history of artists.Not just a painter, Sandrart resemblesa scholarlike FranciscusJuniusin certain respects:he, too, was fa- miliarwith the workand persons of a variety of antiquarians,philologists, his- torians, and poets; and he, too, describesandutilizes contemporary collections. Like some of the antiquariancompendia on which he drew, Sandrart'swork supplied visual materialas illustration.He also repeated some of the themes foundin other contemporaneousscholarly treatiseson art.24 Sandrart'svolumes thereby also provide an important foundationfor fu- ture scholarship and even anticipate certainFrench eighteenth-century devel- opments. Whileit is correctthatSandrart'sbookresemblesthatof the polyhistors as well as the antiquarians in its treatmentof a variety of topics andits learned

accumulationof materials, his version of polyhistoricantiquarianism can be characterized differently andmore favorably thanKlemmhas done. Sandrart's mannerof presentationmay have been eclectic, butthis eclectic approach was also like that of many other antiquarians in the way that Wilhelm Schmidt- Biggemann has explained. The eclecticism it represented was homogeneous.25 The methodof the TeutscheAcademieis not uncontrolled, but it may be con- sideredto be restrictedin the sense that the materialthat Sandrart gathered

ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

ohne Kritik")23 of of what has long

21 Waetzoldt,24, also compares Sandrartto Samuelvon PufendorfandHermann Conring.

22 Klemm,"Pfade,"12, 19:"so miissenwir denn Sandrartals Geschichtsschreiberwohl zu den halb dilettantischMaterialhaufenden 'Polyhistoren' seines Jahrhunderts rechnen, ganz unberiihrtvon den zukunftweisenden Str6mungen, die sich damalsin Parisanbahnten."

23 Klemm, "Pfade,"20; also 28, n. 148, describes this genre as a "schwerverdaulichen

Literaturgattung" but also establishesthe directcontactsthatSandrarthadwith polyhistors.

24 Allan Ellenius, De Arte Pingendi: LatinArt Literaturein Seventeenth-century Sweden and its International Background(Uppsala, 1960); and Klemm, "Pfade."

25 See Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann,Topica Universalis.Eine Modellgeschichte humanis-

tischerundbarocker Wissenschaft(Hamburg,1983).



togetherpertains not to all aspects of experience or history but to the making

andmonumentsof art. Moreover, since Sandrartwas

practicing artistand since he sets a practical aim for artistsas the goal of his

book, he can hardly in any instancebe called a dilettante. Furthermorethe TeutscheAcademie possesses its own sortof organization. Sandrart provides an indexfor eachof his sections.If his workdoes not appear

tobe systematic inthesenseof later centuries,including thatof the Encyclopedie, it has its own system. The firsttwo books of the workdealwith the theory and

practice of the threeartsof design

ture, and architecture), the second book deals more with the antiquarian and

historical origins of the arts, andthe thirdwith the symbolism of art.26 For this and furtherreasons Sandrart's antiquarianism cannot simply be

called an uncritical piling up of facts. For example, he relates and compares

about history, inheritedfromearlier literature, to empirical observation

of objects.27 This procedure is one thatcanbe identifiedwith some of the prac- tices developedby antiquarians in the early modem era.It has also been sug- gested thatthe introductionof a method employing visual materialsas a touch- stone for authenticationand historical dating such as Sandrartutilizes was a positive product of early modem historical scholarship: it was one response to the impact of Pyrrhonism on the problem of historical credibility (fides historica).28 Sandrartin fact offers a refinedversion of this approach: he ap- plies methodsto the evaluationof objects that may be compared to those of contemporaneous Kritik.29He makes frequent commentsabout authorship of drawings and paintings that may be described as a process of connoisseur- ship.30 The employment of these empirical methodshas furthermore usually


an extremely successful

(as in the arti del disegno, painting,sculp-

26 Waetzold, Deutsche Kunsthistoriker, 36. Martino Capucci, "Dalla biografia alla storia. Note sulla formazionedell storiografia




artisticanel Seicento," Studi Secenteschi, 9 (1968 [1969]), 89-125, argues for "ispezione oculare" and "l'accertamentodella verita"as among the innovationsof seicento historiography. Inas- much as Sandrartalso checks theses against observationsof medals and of paintings, to what- ever degree of consistency, as Klemmalso recognizes, I disagree with Klemm's negative assess- ment of Capucci's observationsin relationto Sandrart,"Pfade," 19. See Araldo Momigliano, "Ancient History and the Antiquarian,"295ff, and more re- cently Markus Volkel, "Pyrrhonismus historicus"und 'fides historica. " Die Entwicklung der deutschenhistorischen Methodologie unterdem Gesichtspunkt der historischen Skepsis (New

York, 1987), 103-5; see also Astrid Witschi-Bernz, "MainTrendsin Historical-MethodLitera- ture:Sixteenthto EighteenthCenturies," in History and Theory, 12 (1972), 63ff. See Herbert Jaumann, Critica. Untersuchungen zurGeschichtederLiteraturkritkzwischen Quintilian undThomasius (Leiden, 1995), andThomasDaCosta Kaufmann,"Juridica, historica et art:un ajout en guise de commentaire/Juridica,historicaundKunst:EinAnnex in Formeines Kommentars," in OlivierChristinandDarioGamboni (ed.), Crisesde l'image religieuse/Krisen religioser Kunst (Paris, 1999), 281-300. 30 See Jeffrey M. Muller, "Measuresof Authenticity: The Detection of Copies in Early Literatureon Connoisseurship," in Retaining the Original:MultipleOriginals,Copies, andRe- productions(Studies in the HistoryofArt, 20) (1989), 141-49; Julius Held, "The EarlyApprecia- tion of Drawings," LatinAmericanArt and the Baroque Period in Europe(Studies in Western Art,Acts of theXXthInternational Congressof the HistoryofArt) (Princeton,1963), III, 93.


ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

been seen as essentialfor the development of the discipline of art history, and

they were

Sandrartalso describesat some length boththe antiquities and contempo- rary art objects thatwere to be foundin Kunstkammers,contemporary collec- tions:this sectionof his book is innovative, becauseit includes descriptions of collections in a workthatotherwisecontainstheoreticalandhistoricalmateri-

als.31Sandrart'sstore of antiquarianmaterials, stocked further by his discus- sion of where they can be seen in collections, not only directsreadersto them

butalso supplieshim, and them, with comparanda for a criticalassessmentof history.32 For example, Sandrartrefershis judgment of the decline of artin late antiquity to the observationof medals, as Klemm has also noted.33This point shouldbe emphasized, becauseSandrartdoes not merely takeoverthe familiar accountof artisticdecline setting inwiththeendof theRoman Empire whichhad been repeated since the Renaissance.Sandrart'scommentson the use of med-

alsresemblethe opinions of contemporaneousantiquarians, andareworth quoting:

claimed by Winckelmannas his own innovations.

All the famed [writers] who have experience with history have made

knownto the worldhow highly necessary is the study and knowledge of medals, because they alone give the stamp of truthin the history of the ancients, andmore credenceis often to be placed in a medal, than

in diverse authorsor

still their forms and reverses speak with more certainty.They settle accountsin dubious matters,they light upon history with puretruth, and they neveraresilent. Indeed, with their temperthey outlast every- thing imaginable, and show at the same time pure truth together with

the excellence and immortality of the artof imagery in

metal. Thereforethe most excellent scholarshave all had recourseto

lessons in metal

books. For even thoughthey areno doubt mute,

a small piece of


Sandrart's application of methodhere involves a fresh empirical examination of medalsfor the purpose of analysis of the variety of their appearance, which

31 Teutsche Academie,II, pt. 2, 71ff.

32 See Sandrart's procedure and his use of materialsdescribedas

being in variouscollec-

tions for formingjudgments, as in

33 See Klemm, "Pfade," 20-22. 34 TeutscheAcademie, II, pt. 2, 81: "Es ist bey alien beriihmtenHistorien-Erfahren weltkiindig/ wie hochn6tigsey die WissenschaftundErkintnisder Medaglienl weil sie allein in

den HistorienderAlten/ den Ausschlag der Warheit geben/ und ist oft einer einigen Medaglie

mehr Glaubenzuzusetzen / als unterschiedlichenAuthorenoder Bucher. Dan ob

stummsind/ so redendoch ihreAusbildungen undRiversenmitmehrerSicherheit.Sie entrichten die zweifelhaftige Sachen/ finden die Geschichte mit der reinen Warheit/ und schweigen nimmermehr.Ja sie daurenmit der Hartefiberalles was zu ersinnen/und zeigen zugleich die reine Warheit/mit derVortrefflich-und Unsterblichkeitder Bildkunst/in einem kleinen Stuck

Metall beysammen. Dahrerdanndie vortrefflichsteGelehrtenalle ihreZufluchtzu denmetallinen "

Lehrem genommen haben

Teutsche Academie,II, pt. 2, 78, 81, 83.

sie schon



he here, as elsewhere in his book, utilizes to constructa fuller historicalac- count.His interpretation of objects fora constructionof cultural history is again something thatis supposed to have begun only with Winckelmannand other eighteenth-century authors. Sandrart expandedthe view inheritedfromearliertreatmentsof thehistori- ography of art. It has long been recognized that Sandrart expanded the bio- graphicalcoverage of artists past VasariandVanManderto include many more Germans, as well as to bring the storyup to date.He also expanded his account geographically, to mentionthe Chinese.35 Reflecting contemporaneous Euro- pean involvementnot only with EastAsia butalso withtheNear East, as exem- plified by Athanasius Kircher, whom Sandrartindeed cites in this regard, Sandrartmoreoverincludes accountsof ancient Egyptiansymbolism.36 Thus Sandrartseems to realize more fully than other earlierwritershad done the promise thattheoristsof universal history had hypothesized: one could con- structa history of all the artsin all times and places and thus a history of the visual arts, as they have subsequently been called.37


previous accountsof the history of European artis

also important, because in this respect he is also more far-reaching than his predecessors. LikeVasariandothersSandrart providesrelatively briefaccounts of the history of painting,sculpture, and architecture,independent of his accu-

mulationsof artists' lives, especially for periods beforethe thirteenth century,

when biographical materialbecomes more generally available.As

ognized, Sandrart'saccountwas also novel because he tracedthe onset of de- cline of artto the second Nicaean council, not to the assaults of the Goths, basing this judgment in humanistic antiquarian manneron the study of coins.38 But Sandrartdidmorethan that; he also expanded thetreatmentof medievalart in Europe. He filled in the history of medieval art and architecture up to the thirteenth century,when, as in Vasari's compendium, the lives of the known artists usuallybegin with the biography of Cimabue.39Thusbeforethe various Parisianschools like thatof St. Maur, or for thatmatterthe Italian eruditi, had


35 TeutscheAcademie,I,

pt. 3, 100ff; andsee Michael Sullivan, The Meetingof Easternand

WesternArt (London, 1973), 93ff.

36 See Erik Iversen, The MythofEgypt andits Hieroglyphs in European Tradition (Princeton,

19932), 88ff: Kircher's compendium is

his OedipusAegyptiacus(3 vols.; Rome, 1652-54); he

contributedto the study of EastAsia as well, e.g., Chinamonumentis

illustrata (Amsterdam,

1667), cited by Sandrartin Teutsche Academie, II, pt. 1, 55.

37 See, e.g., Bartholomaeus Keckermann, De Natura et Proprietatibus Historiae Commentarius, in Opera Omnia (2 vols.; Genoa, 1614), II, col. 1309-88; also Kaufmann, "EurocentrismandArt History? Universal History and the Historiography of the Arts before Winckelmann," in Memory and Oblivion: Proceedingsof theXXIXthInternational Congressof the HistoryofArt heldinAmsterdam1-7 September1996, ed.WesselReininkandJeroen Stumpel (Dordrecht,1999), 35-42. 38 Klemm, "Pfade," 12 with referenceto Teutsche Academie,I, pt. 1, p. 5, and pt. 2, p. 7.

39 Teutsche Academie,I, pt. 2, pp. 5-10.


ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

begun writing on such subjects, Sandrartalso provided an extended, and not entirelynegative, accountof the Middle Ages.40 Hence far from failing to point to the future,many aspects of Sandrart's work also directly establishedfoundationsfor the futureliteratureof art.The importance of his contributionis indisputable, for example, in the establish- mentof criticism,theory, and prosopography of artin the vernacular,just as he played a key role in establishing the first academies of art in Germany.41 Sandrart's impact was also felt on otherlate seventeenth-and earlyeighteenth- centurydevelopments in the historiography of art. Sandrartseems not just to have preceded but also to have provided some directionandsome materialforthe firstbook published on the history of archi- tecture, JohannBernhardFischer von Erlach's Entwurff einer historischen Architektur.42Fischervon Erlachsketchesa history of architecturenot accord- ing to architectsbut by a sequence of illustrationsof buildings,arranged chro- nologically and according to regions. In so doing Fischeralso presents the rec- ognizable pattern of a broaduniversal history. Fischer's universal theme, his treatmentof architecture throughillustrations,may be regarded,however, as having a predecessor and possibly even a directsourcein Sandrart.Sandrart's treatmentof Chinais pickedup by Fischer, if turned by theAustrianarchitect into a more positive direction; andSandrart'streatmentof the medieval period can in a way be compared to the surprisingly tolerantcommentsin Fischer.43 One detailin Fischer'sbook speaks not just forcoincidencebutfora direct use of Sandrart.Thisis Fischer'streatmentof vases, illustratedattheendof his volume in the last book of his compendium44(Figure 1). Coming as they do

aftera sequence of illustrationsof buildings, which culminatesin anceof Fischer'sown works, the appearance of vases atthe end of

architecture might otherwise seem extraneous, even inexplicable. Yet in Sandrart'swork there are also illustrationsand discussions of antique vases:

these indeed occupy a place in his opus

(Figure 2). In the TeutscheAcademie the presentation of vases (and related matter)completes the second, andthusthe historical section, of the text.45

thatis similarto thatfoundin Fischer's

the appear- a history of

40 See Bickendorf, Die Historisierung;antiquarianism and approaches to the medieval artarethe topics of continuing research by Ingo Herklotz.

41 Klemm,"Pfade,"although I amin disagreement with aspects of his accountof

history of


historiography; andsee Bruno Bushart, "Die AugsburgerAkademien," in Academies ofArt Be- tweenRenaissance and Romanticism (LeidsKunsthistorische Jaarboek, 5-6 [1986-87, 1989]),

332 ff; LudwigGrote, "Joachimvon Sandrartund Niimberg," in Barockin

des Germanischen National-Museums)(Nuremberg,1962), 14ff.


42 Entwurff einer historischenArchitektur

43 See Kaufmann, "EurocentrismandArt History? Universal History andthe Historiogra-

(Vienna, 1721).

phy of theArtsbeforeWinckelmann."

44 Entwurffeiner historischen Architektur, Bk. 5: "DiversVases AntiuqesEgyptiens,Grecs,

Romains, & modemes:avec Quelques uns de l'inventionde l'Auteur."

45 Teutsche Academie,II,pt. 3: "Vonunterschiedlichen antiquischen oderuraltenGefdssen/



It is also possible to associate


Sandrartwith further historiographic devel-

opments in his immediate milieu in Nuremberg, where much was later to be written on the visual arts.46Sandrart was connected with literary and learned

figures in the town. In turn Altdorf, the university of Nuremberg, can be linked with artistic interests in the city.47 In Altdorf at the beginning of the eighteenth century Christoph Gottlieb Schwarz, who had written his own dissertation on manuscripts, lectured on the subject; he also acted later as the promoter of a dissertation on ivory diptychs.48 Schwarz and others like him handled the ob-

jects they discussed by describing them, in his case, manuscripts, recounting their inscriptions, handwriting, the materials with which they are made, their form, bindings, symbolism, and illuminations. Schwarz and writers on similar subjects, like Martin Schmeitzel, who wrote about crowns and described when and how objects had been made and fared through later years.49 Hence long before the establishment of the first academic chairs in art his-

tory at Gottingen and Berlin, and certainly before Winckelmann, disquisitions and dissertations on objects were in fact being written at universities in Ger-

many. In the later seventeenth and early eighteenth century theses were pre- sented on topics including crowns, Roland statues, diptychs, and manuscripts in various faculties, not only at Altdorf, where a number of professors were involved, but also at such universities as Frankfurt an der Oder, Leipzig, and

Jena. After Sandrart (and his German contemporary, D. B. Major)50 even Kunst- kammers could become the subject of university dissertations.51

Later scholarship has usually categorized the approach represented by these sorts of endeavors as antiquarian, as it has the presentation of some of the

46 FrankWolf Eiermann, "Die Veroffentlichungen der Niimberger Mahler-Academievon Jacobvon Sandrartbis JohannJustinPreisler (1662-1771)" (M. A. thesis, Friedrich-Alexander- Universitit Erlangen-Niimberg,1992).

47 See Christian Klemm,"Sigmund von BirkenundJoachimvon Sandrart.Zur Entstehung der TeutschenAcademieund zu anderen Beziehungen von Literatund Maler," in Der Franken Rom, NiirnbergsBliitezeit in der zweiten Hdlfte des 17. Jahrhunderts, ed. John Roger Paas (Wiesbaden,1995),289-313; andsee FrankWolf Eiermann, "Die Niimberger Mahler-Academie und die UniversitatAltdorfim 17/18. Jahrhundert,"Friihneuzeit-info, 9 (1993), 97-98.

48 Schwarz's writings on manuscripts are collected in De ornamentislibrorumet varia rei

librariae veterum supellectile dissertationum antiquarium

(Leipzig,1756); see also Gustav PhilippNegelein, "De Vetusto QuodamDiptycho Consulariet Ecclesiastico" (Ph. D. diss., Altdorf, 1742).

Speciatim de Origine

et Fatis Sacrae, Angelicae et ApostolicaRegni Hungariae Coronae (Jena, 1712). Anothercon- temporary dissertationon the crownof Hungary was writtenatAltdorfand promotedby D. G.

Moller: Conrad Deichler, "Disputatio Circularisde Corona Hungarica"(Ph. D. diss., Altdorf,

, ed. JohannChristianLeuschner

49CommentatioHistoricade Coronistam Antiquis,quam Modernis



B. Major,Unvorgreiffliches Bedenckenvon Kunst-und Naturalien-Kammern (Kiel,


Altdorf in 1704 Friedrich Sigismund Wurffbaindefended a dissertationon Kunst-

kammersandthe history of collecting thathad probably been written by the praeses, Professor

D. G. M6ller: "Dissertatio de Technophysiotameis-von

(Altdorf, 1704). Otherdissertationsarediscussedin "Before Winckelmann," 76-78.

51 At



ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

> * ?il -*i,r,.: [ ~~~~~. w~~~~~~~~~~~~r * ? I ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~, ??.-.,- . ,d d)~~~~~~~~~~~.
[ ~~~~~.
I ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~,
?~~~~~~ ~



- - .*.-t. *,. . - *"-^ ~ . .if,fi h p 'c^'-^^f-^'":'~~-~ , v
~ .
v :,


Figure 2: Ancient Vases, from Joachimvon Sandrart, TeutscheAcademie, Nuremberg,1675, courtesy,MarquandLibrary.


ThomasDaCosta Kaufmann

materialsin Sandrart.The term antiquarian as used here describesan activity or interestthatis concernedwith documentsand objects of the past in an effort to reconstitutetheir appearance and nature, not an analytical or narrativeman- nerof procedure.Antiquarianism is thus thought to provide a basis for histori- cal research,not to represent real historiography itself.52Sandrartis contrasted with Winckelmann, and antiquarianism with art history. Sandrart'swork andthe link it provides between art history and antiquari- anism suggest thatthese distinctionsare too sharply drawn.It is mistakento dismisstoo hastily his sortof scholarship and antiquarianism more generally as belonging to a type thatis differentin its methodfromWinckelmann's-that is, a concernwith the visual particularities of objects of art, set into a historical framework. Although Winckelmannwantedto distinguish himselffromhis pre- decessorsandhis mode of presentation and literarystyle differfromSandrart's and fromthose of other antiquarians, it is neverthelessthe case that antiquar- ians supplied Winckelmannboth with most of the matterfor his books, and also with much of his method, which is now identifiedwith thatof art history. Sandrart'swork further suggests thatWinckelmann'srelationto his anteced- entscanbe tracednot only in regard to archaeological or iconographiccontent, for which he drew upon material compiledby antiquarians, butalso in whatis often regarded as Winckelmann's special contributionto arthistorical method, namely, the analysis of the formalor stylisticparticularities of objects in order to place them in historicalcontext. Numeroustextsrevealtheexistenceof a hostof othernorthernantecedents to Winckelmannin additionto Sandrartin this regard as well. For example, in one seventeenth-centurypublication on