Johann Joachim Winckelmann was born in Stendal (north of Magdeburg) to a poor cobbler on 9 December 1717 and became one of the most famous German classic scholars and art historians with a European-wide appeal. He was instrumental in eliminating the adherence to late baroque taste in the fine arts and, breaking with the dominant reliance of French classicisme on Roman and Latin models, shaped the new Greece-inspired Weimar Classicism.

Already as a boy, young Winckelmann acquired a love of Greek antiquity, mythology, and Homer. After attending grammar school, he tried out several disciplines at university beginning in 1738, first at Halle, where he studied theology and philosophy, then medicine and mathematics at Jena. …

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Citation:
Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Johann Joachim Winckelmann". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4761, accessed 21 October 2014.]