It may not seem at first glance that Johann Joachim Winckelmann has much to do with the history of architecture. His most famous book, History of the Art of Antiquity, says little about architecture beyond brief comments on the “depraved taste” of Augustus's buildings and the observation that architecture differed from the other arts in ancient times.1 But Winckelmann's impact on the history of architecture (and architectural historians) is hard to ignore. He is credited generally with ushering in a new method of stylistic analysis, one that generations of historians of the built environment assumed and practiced whether they knew of its originator or not. He...

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