This is the first intellectual biography in English of Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), one of the most famous eighteenth-century German philosophers and aestheticians, considered by many to be the father of modern art history. Analysing Winckelmann's magnum opus, 'The History of the Art of Antiquity', Potts explains the fundamental importance to art history of this eloquent account of the aesthetic and imaginative Greek ideal in art.
''Flesh and the Ideal' gives us a new look at one of the more complex protagonists of the Enlightenment ... Potts deserves our thanks for bringing Winckelmann back to the centre of current art-historical thinking.' Bruce Boucher, The Times
'This study of Winckelmann's magisterial contribution to the history of art and his place as a founder of the modern discipline is the result of a process of long distillation and careful thought ... A fascinating and stimulating re-reading of Winckelmann.' Alison Yarrington, Art History
Alex Potts is collegiate professor, history of art, at the University of Michigan.