On the Digital Study and Edition of a Unique Text-Image Constellation – Based on the example of Johann Joachim Winckelmann

Winckelmann’s first published work in 1755, Gedancken über die Nachahmung der Griechischen Wercke in der Mahlerey und Bildhauer-Kunst (Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture), can be considered the “founding document” of a new, nascent “Greco-Roman movement” of the mid-18th century (W. Barner).Its emergence was largely the result of the extensive body of excerpts Winckelmann had built in the years before. The first edition with a print run of just 50-60 copies was reprinted one year later in 1756. In addition to his original 40-page treatise, the extended version included three other articles by Winckelmann – Sendschreiben über die Gedanken von der Nachahmung (Open Letter on the Thoughts on Imitation), Nachricht von einer Mumie (An Account of a Mummy) and Erläuterung der Gedanken über die Nachahmung (Explanation of the Thoughts on Imitation) – in which he was able to interweave his yet undiscussed excerpts on ancient art and European art theory.