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INTRODUCTION

In the 17th and 18th centuries antiquarians often gathered their knowledge in impressive anthologies illustrated with antiquities. These "paper museums" exhibited a considerable number of ancient works in the form of engravings and drawings. The image of ancient art contained in these paper museums directly spurred a series of major phenomena in 18th-century art history: the growing taste for antiquity, the neoclassic style, the emergence of an historiography of art, and an expansion of the concept of antiquity. The goal of the Paper Museums exhibition is to demonstrate the extreme fertility of these hybrid objects, which occupy the borderline between science and art, between book and collection, between text and image.