Classics Confidential | Daniel Orrells on Illustrating Winckelmann

Here’s the blurb:

This week Classics Confidential was in Berlin talking to Dr Daniel Orrells about his Humboldt research project on Johann Joachim Winckelmann – the eighteenth-century German art historian who is perceived by many to be one of the founding fathers of the discipline of Classics. Dan tells us why Winckelmann’s work was so revolutionary for the field of Art History, how his masterwork Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums (“The History of Art in Antiquity”, published in 1764) tied into broader intellectual currents, and how Winckelmann’s grand narrative of classical art was problematised and appropriated in later periods. In the second half of the interview we move on to discuss some of Dan’s past work on the history of sexuality, focussing on his 2011 book Classical Culture and Modern Masculinity.

Capitoline She Wolf Dating Followup

… I can only imagine what sort search engine hits I’m going to get from that headline … In any event, t’other day we mentioned that the coverage of the redating of the Capitoline wolf really didn’t satisfy in terms of presenting anything new (and the lack of coverage in English didn’t help me in that regard). Now, Rosella Lorenzi’s coverage for Discovery.com fills in the gaps … the bit that matters:

[…] Using accelerator mass spectrometry, the researchers extracted, analyzed and radiocarbon dated organic samples from the casting process. The results revealed with an accuracy by 95,4 percent that the sculpture was crafted between the 11th and 12th century AD.

“The new thesis is that it is a medieval copy of an original Etruscan work,” Rome’s municipality supervisor for culture, Umberto Broccoli, said.

He remarked that the Etruscan attribution was first made by 18th-century German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann on the basis of how the wolf’s fur was represented. […]

So it does appear that there was some additional tech work and not just fudging with the numbers. Somewhat disappointing to learn, I suppose, but the ‘new thesis’ seems reasonable (even if it is sort of a ‘scholarly compromise’). That said, we still anxiously await to hear whether the Chimera of Arezzo will fall into the same category …