Winckelmann in Italy

To commemorate the Winckelmann anniversaries 2017/2018, Christ Church Library s preparing preparing a major exhibition and series of events in collaboration with the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading and the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford.

Like many antiquarians of his day, the German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) first learned about the ancient world through immersion in literature. As a teacher then librarian in his native Germany, Winckelmann encountered the classics primarily through literary texts, as well as the souvenirs—coins, gems and figurines—that Grand Tourists and other travellers had brought north from their visits to Italy. Once he arrived in Rome, where he rose to prominence at Prefect of Antiquities in the Vatican, Winckelmann studied the remains of Greek, Graeco-Roman and Roman art on a larger scale. Through personal contacts, letters and other writings, Winckelmann influenced his and subsequent generations of scholars, aesthetes, collectors, craftsmen and artists both within and beyond Italy.

Winckelmann in Italy: Curiosity and Connoisseurship in the 18th Century Gentleman's Study explores his varied influence on the arts in Britain, through printed media, architecture and decorative arts. This exhibition is part of the Anniversary celebrations of the work of Winckelmann and particularly his impact on the reception of Classical art in Britain. For more on the series of Winckelmann celebrations, please click here. Winckelmann in Italy, curated by Dr Amy Smith, Dr K. C. Harloe, Dr Cristina Neagu, opens in the Upper Library at Christ Church on 29 June at 5:30 pm.

The exhibition will be launched with a symposium on Ideals and Nations: New perspectives on the European reception of Winckelmann’s aesthetics. Keynote speakers: Professor Alex Potts (University of Michigan) and Professor Elisabeth Décultot (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg).

The Winckelmann anniversary events will start on Friday 29 June 2018 at 10:15 in Sir Michael Dummet Lecture Theatre, at Christ Church College, University of Oxford. The symposium will be followed by a drinks reception to launch the exhibition: ‘Winckelmann in Italy: Curiosity and connoisseurship in the 18th-century gentleman’s study’

For the symposium programme, please click here.
To book your place, please click here.
Registration closes 18th June 2018

For general information about the events, please contact Dr Cristina Neagu ( For further details about the symposium, please contact Dr Lucy Russell ( and Dr Fiona Gatty (
The event is generously sponsored by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, Medieval and Modern Languages Oxford, and Christ Church College

The exhibition will be open in the Upper Library from 29 June to 26 October 2018.
Visiting hours:
Monday – Friday: 10.00 am - 1.00 pm;  2.00 pm - 4.30 pm