Storia Delle Arti Del Disegno Presso Gli Antichi Di Giovanni Winkelmann Tradotta dal Tedesco E In Questa Edizione Corretta E Aumentata Dall'Abate Carlo Fea Giureconsulto Tomo Primo. (- Terzo.)

Johann Joachim Winckelmann

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums., Italian., 1783-4.]

Variant Title

Dissertazione Sulle Rovine Di Roma


In Roma: Dalla Stamperia Pagliarini, MDCCLXXXIII. (- MDCCLXXXIV.) Con Licenza De' Superiori.

Physical Description

3 vols.; 264 mm. (Quarto.)

General Note

Vol. I: [iv], xcvi, 451, [1] p., frontis., [2], 18 [i.e. 19] pl.: illus. Bis pl.4. The two unnumbered plates are bound in facing p.116 - Vol. II: 427, [1] p., frontis. (port.), [1], 11 pl.: illus. - Vol. III: xii, 604 p., 23 [i.e. 29] pl.: illus. Quinter pl.19, quater pl.20. Plates 1,2 are transposed.


Vol. I: [Half-t., frontis., t.p., dedic.] - Carlo Fea Ai Leggitori - Avviso Dei Monaci Cisterciesi Di Sant'Ambrogio Maggiore Di Milano - Prefazione Degli Editori Viennesi - Elogio Di Winkelmann Del Sig. Crist. Gottl. Heyne Consigliere Di S.M. Britannica - Indice De' Libri E De' Capi Del Tomo I. (II.) - [Text] - Imprimatur; Approvazione - [Plates]. - Vol. II: [Half-t., frontis., t.p.] - [Text] - [Plates]. - Vol. III: [Half-t., frontis., t.p.] - Carlo Fea Ai Leggitori - Osservazioni Sull'Architettura Degli Antichi - Lettera Sull'Origine Ed Antichità Dell'Architettura ... L'Autore Dell'Opera Intitolata Rovine Dell'Antica Città Di Pesto Anno MDCCLXXXIV - Lettere Di Winkelmann - Dissertazione Sulle Rovine Di Roma - Spiegazione Delle Tavole In Rame Contenute Nell'Opera ... Tomo I (-III) - Indice Di molti Monumenti ... - Indice Degli Scrittori Lodati ... - Indice Delle Edizioni Di Alcuni Autori ... - Indice Delle Materie - Aggiunti. Tom. I.(-III.) - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

The text is 'Corretta e Aumentata' by Fea from Carlo Amoretti's translation published in 1779.

The frontispiece of Vol. I is signed as designed by Oeser; that of Vol. II, as painted by A.R. Mengs and drawn by Bonav. Salesa; that of Vol. III as painted by Maron. The first two are signed as engraved by Iac. Bossi; the third, as engraved by G. Carattoni. Most plates in both volumes are signed as drawn by Stef. Piale (but in Volume I the two unnumbered plates are signed as drawn by Io. Bapt. Calandrucci and engraved by Hieronymus Rossi, pl. 5 as drawn by Ant. Dominici, and three unsigned; in Volume II the unnumbered pl. is signed as drawn by Pompeius Hierony. Batoni and engraved by Michael Sorellò; in Vol. III one pl. is signed as drawn by J. Baptista Natali, one by Vinc. Dolcibeni and the rest unsigned). They are signed as engraved by various hands - Bossi, L. Cunego, Perini, C. Pignatari, Girolamo Carattoni (or Carratoni or 'G.C.'), Petrini, Silvestrini, Mochetti, Tinti, C. Baroni, M. di Pietro, Rastaini, Gio. Batta. Das(s)ori, Campana, Franc. Faccenda.

Of the in-text decorations most are unsigned by a draughtsman (but one is signed as drawn by Piale, one as by Fra. Belli), and are signed as engraved by Giac. Bossi (but a few as engraved by Cunego, Mochetti, Girolamo Carattoni, Petrus Bombelli; all in Vol.III are unsigned).

The dedication in Volume I is from Carlo Fea to Giuseppe Niccola De Azara.


RIBA, Early printed, 4 (2001), 3687; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural, IV (2000), 165.

For Winckelmann and his influence see the bibliographic note on the 1766 French version (Histoire de l'art chez les anciens).

Fea's career is described in R.T. Ridley, The Pope's archaeologist: the life and times of Carlo Fea (2000). P.E. Visconti, Biografia dell'Abate Don Carlo Fea (1836).

Summary Note

The publication-date of 1783 is carried by the title pages of the first two volumes (but the frontispiece of Vol. II carries the date of 1784); the title page of the third volume carries the date of 1784 - but may not have been published until 1786.

This, Winckelmann's most influential work - in which he combines critical attention to the details of ancient Greek and Roman art with an overview of its stylistic development - had first been published in German in 1764. French versions had been published in 1766 and 1781. Fea's corrections and augmentations for this edition are bold and extensive, and caused some controversy.

The third volume of this Italian version adds Winckelmann's Osservazioni Sull'Architettura Degli Antichi (a translation of his Anmerkung über die Baukunst der Alten of 1762), a letter on Paestum by P.A. Paoli and Fea's own Dissertazione Sulle Rovine di Roma - his first published work; in which he ascribes the damage of Roman structures not to barbarians or bishops but to floods, earthquakes and their use as family strongholds. He notes the paradoxic despoliation of the ruins by Renaissance lovers of antiquity. Fea afterwards wrote extensively on the archaeology of Rome and Lazio, and contributed to the development of the law protecting artistic heritage.

The three frontispieces show: 1. an allegory; 2. a portrait of Azara; 3. a portrait of Winckelmann. The plates and illustrations show ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and antiquities; several in Volume III show plans, sections and elevations of ancient Greek temples.


Although first listed in the 1821 Catalogue of the Library in the Royal Academy, London (p. 29), according to John Flaxman's recommendation to the RA Council on 1 September 1801, at least a partial copy seems to have been present by then (see Council Minutes III, 109-10).

Binding Note

Contemporary vellum; spines lettered 'Winkelman Storia Del Disegn Tom. I. (-III.)'.

Name as Subject


Art, ancient - Art, Greek - Art, Roman - Sculpture, Greek - Sculpture, Roman - Antiquities - Architecture - Greece - Rome - History
Art history - Art criticism - Treatises - Italy - 18th century - Neoclassical
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century


Carlo Fea
Carlo Fea, translator, editor
Christian Gottlob Heyne, Elogio di Winkelmann
Jose Nicolas de Azara marques de Nibbiano, dedicatee
Giacomo Bossi, engraver
Luigi Cunego, engraver
Stefano Piale, draughtsman
Antonio de Dominicis, draughtsman
Girolamo Rossi, engraver
Alessandro Mochetti, engraver
Carlo Baroni, engraver
Anton von Maron, source artist
Giovanni Battista Natali, draughtsman
Vincenzo Dolcibeni, draughtsman
Girolamo Carattoni, engraver
Franc. Faccenda, engraver
Anton Raphael Mengs, source artist
Buenaventura Salesa, draughtsman
Adam Friedrich Oeser, source artist
Pompeo Batoni, draughtsman
Carlo Amoretti, translator
Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Osservazioni Sull'Architettura Degli Antichi
Paolo Antonio Paoli, Lettera Sull'Origine Ed Antichità Dell'Architettura
Carlo Fea, Dissertazione Sulle Rovine Di Roma
Niccolo e Marco Pagliarini (Rome), publisher