, Volume 88, Issue 4, pp 569–585 | Cite as

Das Fremde Deutschland Und Das Eigene Rom Pedantenkritik, Kulturkritik Und Klassizistische Rom-Visionen Bei J.J. Winckelmann

  • Martin Disselkamp


This article takes a selection of the letters of Johann Joachim Winckelmann as its starting point in order to analyse the dialectic of the tension in his work between the cultural reality of Germany, which is perceived to be inferior, and the ideal alterity of Rome. Winckelmann portrays the insignificance of the cultural setting within which his academic socialisation took place – in other words, the lack of aesthetic offerings in the city and university of Halle – with such scathing accuracy that this connoisseur of fine art who was trained in Rome seems to become a stranger and exile in his own time and place. In contrast to this, the imaginary, classical art-world of Rome appears to be the natural home of aesthetic scholars. The Roman ideal, however, does not replace Halle and the German academy – it remains instead the measure by which both are judged. This interaction between one's own present reality and alterity opens up various possibilities for a gain in self-knowledge. Moreover, the destruction of the present contains a subtle salvation for the same.


Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic Cultural Setting Natural Home Present Reality 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Disselkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Germanistik, Neuere deutsche LiteraturUniversität GießenDeutschland)

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