MENGS, Anton Raphael
(b. 1728, Aussig, d. 1779, Roma)

Portrait of Johann Joachim Winckelmann

Oil on panel, 67 x 53 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) was a German art historian and archaeologist, a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. He was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Many consider him the father of the discipline of art history. His influence was decisive on the rise of the neoclassical movement during the late eighteenth century. His writings influenced not only a new science of archaeology and art history but Western painting, sculpture, literature and even philosophy. Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art (1764) is a classic book of European literature.

Anton Raphael Mengs was a follower of Winckelmann's ideas.