|About the Book|
Antoine Chrysostome Quatremere de Quincy (1759-1849), arguably the foremost French classicist and art historian of the nineteenth century, is relatively little-known in English language scholarship. Three of his books were translated in the earlyMoreAntoine Chrysostome Quatremere de Quincy (1759-1849), arguably the foremost French classicist and art historian of the nineteenth century, is relatively little-known in English language scholarship. Three of his books were translated in the early nineteenth century, none in the twentieth century, and an important collection of two sets of open letters concerning museums, looting and repatriation was just published in 2012. Quatremère has been unfairly called the French Winckelmann, a charge that sticks primarily because so little of his work has ever been translated. In fact, he shows us, not what apish imitation of Wincklemanns Neoclassicism looked like in the nineteenth century, but rather what these two overlapping disciplines had become in the generation after Winckelmann. Quatremère was formed by three crucial developments that Winckelmann did not and could not know: the French Revolution and its aftermath- Hegelian aesthetics- and the establishment of the museum era in Europe. Quatremère also remained committed to his Roman Catholicism and to the secular values of the early Revolution- in this he is very different than Winckelmann, who converted to Catholicism just before moving to Rome, and who was, according to many who claimed to understand him best, really a closeted pagan if he were anything at all. Quatremère wrote eloquently and with deep insight concerning his understanding of the compatibilities between the Classical and Christian vision, an issue that does not figure in Winckelmanns more intentionally profane musings. Ruprecht hopes to show that Quatremères true importance emerges only if we situate him in his own times, one generation after Winckelmann, in a very different, and a far more revolutionary and secularizing cultural moment.