Monuments Shape Art History

The venerable tradition of “paper museums” had an important influence on the rise of art history. Anthologies of engraved antiquities gave birth to the idea of formal development and evolution in art, an historical account of which only began emerging in the 1760s thanks to Johan Joachim Winckelmann and his successors. The work of these art historians testifies to the link between antiquarian tradition and art history since it combines true historical accounts with the older model of illustrated compendia of ancient works.