Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Laokoon was published in 1766. We recall it today as one of the first works of criticism in the modern style: it is essayistic in form as well as tone, moves seamlessly across now more clearly elaborated areas such as art, art history and the theory of literature, and indeed adumbrates differences between these fields as part of its programme – a thoroughly modern undertaking. Lessing’s remarks about the boundaries between art, by which he means painting and sculpture, on the one hand, and poetry and literature, on the other, are underpinned by a thorough acquaintance with classical as well as modern languages, including English, and a deep familiarity with rhetoric and philosophy. If one wished to cavil, one would be moved to find Lessing’s knowledge of sculpture inferior to that of Winckelmann, on whose treatiseGedanken über die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der Malerei und Bildhauerkunst (1755) [Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Painting and Statuary] and later work Die Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (1764) [History of the Art of Antiquity] Lessing’s own ideas about art are based.

Winckelmann’s work on Greek art had landmark significance for Lessing’s generation, which included the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Moses Mendelssohn and the theologian and historian of culture Johann Gottfried von Herder. Only a few years younger were Goethe and Schiller, the literary architects of Weimar Classicism, a movement in poetry that reached its highpoint in Germany in the years between 1795 and 1805. Beyond Germany, Winckelmann’s work on antiquity quickly became known to a wider European audience. The Gedanken were published in English by the artist Henry Fuseli in 1765 and again in 1767. A French translation had appeared as early as 1755 (Irwin, 8). The first of a series of French and Italian translations of the Geschichte appeared in 1766 (Potts, 11). In both works Winckelmann sought to encapsulate the significance of Greek art for the European mind of the eighteenth century in a single pithy phrase: it was the “edle Einfalt und stille Größe” of this art, its “noble simplicity and sedate grandeur”, he believed, that commended it to posterity. And it would be through the activity of imitation that these special attributes would be made to appear to later ages. In Winckelmann’s major work Die Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums “Einfalt” or simplicity was a key term in a historical discussion of beauty. The striving to attain beauty and to distill its essence, Winckelmann held in this work, summed up the direction of an entire past culture, its entire inner sense and direction: “Through unity and simplicity all beauty becomes sublime […]: for what in itself is great is executed and brought to the fore with simplicity, so becoming sublime” (Geschichte, 136). Winckelmann argued in this work that the unity of simplicity underlying the ideal of beauty could not be grasped intellectually – it could only be known as an effect of beauty’s appearance in the artwork. At the very high point of a century of rationalism, therefore, the goal of “imitation” of Greek art established by Winckelmann for the moderns legislated a departure from the preeminence of rational precepts, at least in the first instance. What made this departure possible was a new type of understanding that had progressively taken hold over the European mind since the Renaissance, but which was not proclaimed formally as a separate area of enquiry until the publication of Alexander Baumgarten’s Aesthetica in 1750. It was above all the suggestiveness and promise of this new type of understanding that spoke persuasively to Winckelmann’s generation.

Winckelmann’s call to imitate the greatness and profundity of Greek art entailed a new aesthetic response to the world that put beauty at its centre. Such beauty could not be deduced through the operation of the mind alone, but was brought to life holistically, through the mind’s partnership with the senses. While the task of explaining the particular arrangement of mind and body under the conditions of aesthetic understanding was later carried out by others, notably by Immanuel Kant in his thirdCritique, the Kritik der Urteilskraft (1790), Winckelmann was still obliged to confront the difficulty of indicating how the unity of the beautiful at the heart of aesthetic categories of understanding appeared at a critical level to the historian of art. He concluded that beauty didn’t actually appear at all directly – rather it disappeared precisely when it was most palpable. The singular task of the historian of art was to chart this disappearance at moments when beauty strived to impress itself with greatest urgency upon the form and content of the artwork at the limits of expressivity of that artwork. If naive rationalism had framed its precepts by following a logic of designation, aesthetic rationality – if that was what Winckelmann intended – worked by failing to designate the content it sought to make appear. Winckelmann labelled this proclivity of the artwork under the conditions of highest beauty to designate its content, as it were, negatively, that is, through the absence of the very quality it sought to reveal, the term “Unbezeichnung” [“undesignation”]. In doing so, he was to provide not only aesthetics, but also philosophy, with an entirely new operative dynamic: “From unity follows another characteristic of high beauty, the undesignation of the same, whose forms are described neither through points nor lines, but only through beauty itself” (Geschichte, 137). Winckelmann’s cultural project was therefore forged with conscious intent on a paradox: Greek art expressed itself as the search for an ideal that could never be rendered evident, except by suggesting the other side of that which it kept hidden – that is, as Heidegger would later say in reference to the truth ideal, as an “unconcealing”. It was in this paradoxical disclosure of what beauty ultimately held from view as a condition of its expressivity that Winckelmann found his ideal of Greek art. And it was the never fully disclosable passion of the Laocoon – even more than the Apollo Belvedere and the Niobe, other examples of Greek statuary discussed by Winckelmann – which most came to embody its truth.

Before I outline the argument that Lessing puts forward in his essay Laokoon, let me call to memory the antique marble group depicting Laocoon and his two sons caught in the coils of two serpents, one of the great works of Greek plastic art. The group was known to posterity through written testimony long before it had been viewed by the first eyewitnesses of modern times. The Roman historian Pliny (Pliny the Elder) had written in his Historia naturalis (cf. Richter, 13):”[The Laocoon] is a work to be preferred to all that the arts in painting and sculpture have produced. Out of one block of stone, the consummate artists, Hagesandros, Polydoros, and Athenodoros of Rhodes made, after careful planning, Laocoon, his sons, and the snakes marvellously entwined about them.” Since the Laocoon was long thought to be lost forever, Pliny remained the most serious word on the topic of the statue for 1500 years. Then in 1506 the owner of a vineyard just outside Rome unearthed the statue on his property. It had been walled in to subterranean baths in the fifth century, perhaps to preserve it from marauders in the last days of the Roman Empire. All that was missing from the statue the vintner had unearthed were the right arms of Laocoon and the younger son on the left (as the observer looks at it). Otherwise it was intact and in good condition. The find was immediately reported to Pope Julius II, who sent the architect Sangallo to investigate. As Michaelangelo happened to be staying with Sangallo at the time, both were among the first of the moderns to behold the marble group. It was Michaelangelo who was later consulted about the restoration of the missing parts. He worked with an associate, Giovanni Montorsoli, on additions that were perhaps modelled along the lines of a bronze copy that Julius II had already commissioned. The Laocoon seems to have had considerable importance for Michaelangelo and the Italian Renaissance. Michaelangelo’s later work appears strongly influenced by the musculature depicted in the Laocoon, and William S. Heckscher, in seeking to account for the statue’s overall significance, proclaimed the Laocoon “[a]ntiquity’s great contribution to the problem of muscles and sinews” (cf. Richter 16).

While the Germans at this time were by no means unfamiliar with the novelty and significance of the Italian Renaissance – the discovery of central perspective in the early Renaissance is recorded in the work of Albrecht Dürer – the upheaval and aftermath of Luther’s Reformation remained a major distraction for two hundred years or more.Winckelmann himself had not yet traveled to Italy when he wrote his first work on the art of the Greeks, the already mentioned Gedanken über die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der Malerei und Bildhauerkunst of 1755. This is significant. For when he did undertake the journey to Italy to inspect, among other statues, the restored and “completed” Laocoon group, his sense of its importance for Greek antiquity did not change. The “edle Einfalt und stille Größe” that he had found in the statue in the early treatise was upheld. Since Winckelmann was one of a very few who had made the journey to Italy (the philosopher Kant, for example, was famously house-bound and spent an entire life in the town of his birth), his pronouncements on Greek art quickly became authoritative. They were given added weight by other social changes occurring in Germany, particularly the process of secularization, which reached the pious north of central Europe somewhat later than in other countries such as England and France. This secularization, particularly as it was expressed in new doctrines based on the self-evidence of reason, as well as certain anxieties about the displacement of religious understanding from the world which flowed from it, widened a space for more sophisticated accounts of how human beings could strike an attitude to life, such as those proposed by Winckelmann. It was thus with great celerity that the cultivated German mind opened out onto the importance of classical antiquity. In no other country at this time was the rediscovery of antiquity felt as quite the event it was in Germany. It remained important well into the early nineteenth century, by which time it had been transformed into a broader account of the way art expressed how life was to be conceived and lived. A direct descendant of this outlook is Friedrich Nietzsche, whose thoughts on life turn on distinctions he drew from a study of Greek art and poetry, notably in his important work Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik [The Birth of Tragedy] of 1872. Sigmund Freud is another who molded a conception of the development of the human psyche from an inner conflict he found actuated in the Greek play by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex.

If the flowering of the Italian Renaissance had drawn Winckelmann to Italy – it was the latter day Italians, after all, who were the first imitators of the ancients –, it was Greek antiquity that he ultimately wished to discover there, yet this was an antiquity that was almost completely known from copies, not originals. As David Irwin points out, it was not until the importation into Britain of the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in 1808 that Greek art could be properly assessed. Winckelmann’s generation was forced to rely on drawings and models for their assessment of Greek art, and “[t]he very few Greek original works that did exist outside Greece were too rare to be influential” (Irwin, 12). The importance attaching to the one major example of Greek art that was considered to have survived, the Laocoon, can thus be easily imagined. Nevertheless, this was an artwork that had already undergone a subtle, but significant, change. This change was expressed in the attitude of the right arm in the figure of Laocoon, as interpreted by the attentions of Montorsoli and Michaelangelo, who were following their own notions of centering human awareness on an ideal of the human body. It is probable that Winckelmann had no notion that the right arm of Laocoon could have assumed any other position than the one given to it by Michaelangelo and Montorsoli. We do not know whether a different position of the arm might have interrupted the claims he wished to make about the marble group and of the philosophy of Greek art that he deduced from it. What we do know is that the Laocoon as it was unveiled to public view in 1960, with the reattachment of a piece held to be the original arm (discovered in an art dealer’s shop in 1905) in the original position, does not allow us, except with considerable difficulty, to find any attitude of “noble simplicity” or “sedate grandeur” in the statue whatsoever. Even before this re-attachment of the arm, but after the nature of Michaelangelo’s intervention was more clearly understood, L.E.Upcott, writing in 1892 (Upcott, xxi-ii), concluded about the statue: “We may regard the group […] as the dramatization of a probably well-known tragic situation. Its moral, if it has any, lies outside; the artists have nothing to do with it. It is a picture of physical pain, conceived with vivid horror and carried out with relentless force.”

Let me conclude this first part of my paper by summarizing the situation about the Laocoon as Lessing encountered it in the 1760s. A famous Greek statue, known to posterity principally through the account of an ancient historian, returns to the light of day in 1506, at the height of the Italian Renaissance. Its rediscovery is a matter of technical significance for the Renaissance because of its portrayal of physical form. Its wider significance for posterity lies with the fact that it was one of the few major works of Greek antiquity still extant. Instead of leaving the statue as it was found, a decision is made to restore the missing pieces – the right arms of Laocoon and his son on the left. Michaelangelo is engaged to oversee this task. He and an associate place both arms in positions that underscore an attitude of heroic, stoical resistance and silent suffering – not an attitude, we now know, that one would readily find in the original, but an attitude, to be sure, fully consonant with the exalted humanism of the Renaissance. Unlike the Apollo Belvedere, for example, which shows the human form without protruding veins and sinews, replete with ethereal godliness, the Laocoon bursts with the energy of a human musculature straining to the utmost. When Winckelmann comes across the statue more than two hundred years later, this heroic attitude of resistance seems to him evocative of Greek art in general. Even before he has journeyed to Italy and seen the sculpture at first hand, he waxes about its “noble simplicity and sedate grandeur” in an early disquisition on Greek art. He does not depart from these summary statements about Greek art when he views the statue in Italy – the restored and completed statue of Michaelangelo and Montorsoli. Rather, he carries back to northern Europe an elevated conception of the emotions, grounded in human physicality, which seems exactly fitted to certain hopes he holds for a secularizing Germany. It also seems well fitted to solving the question of unbridled rationalism, whose limits had been suggested in the sceptical philosophy of Berkeley and Hume in the first half of the eighteenth century. Winckelmann’s conception of the emotions also finds concurrence from a different direction – that of emerging aestheticism. In the early to mid eighteenth century, Francis Hutcheson and Edmund Burke in England, for example, had made new moral claims about the sublime and the beautiful – a line of thought that had lain fallow since Longinus’s remarks 1500 years before. In Germany, Alexander Baumgarten had continued this line of thought by providing a formal, “scientific” context for investigations that lay within the parameters of aesthetic understanding. Winckelmann’s attempt to forge a new rational project based on an ideal of the elevated emotions draws immediate praise from his coevals in the literary-philosophical world. Some, like Lessing, Herder, Moritz and Goethe, wax similarly upon the importance of the Laocoon, and all but Lessing travel to Italy to see the statue at first hand. What they see there is the Laocoon with the outthrust arm. The problem of a mismatch between the original and the restoration is not debated until the early nineteenth century. A hundred years more will pass before a more precise idea of the original position of the arms can be formed after a chance discovery in an art dealer’s shop. By this time, of course, the late eighteenth century world that found such fascination in the Laocoon is long gone. Not gone, however, are the consequences that flowed from the initial interpretations of the Laocoon and the claims made about it.

Finally, now, we come to Lessing. Lessing’s interest in the Laocoon arises from a different quarter. He does not question Winckelmann’s view that the Laocoon evinces a heroic attitude of silent grandeur. In fact he holds this view to be incontestable: Winckelmann is now the greatest living authority in Europe on ancient art, and, besides, Lessing does not have the luxury of inspecting the original. Lessing is therefore drawn to different questions. Why is there such a difference between the “noble simplicity and silent grandeur” of the statue and the far more direct account of the emotions given by Virgil in his literary version of the same myth (in the Aeneid)? While the subject of the sculpture appears to choke back the pain inflicted by the serpents – death by strangulation, on the one hand, death by viper’s bite, on the other – Virgil’s Laocoon cries out with uninhibited intensity. The reaction to the nearness of death in Virgil’s account appears to be quite different from that suggested in the statue, and it is borne as a moment of immanent, rather than transcendent, emotion. This begs another question: Which came first, the marble statue or the prose poem? Did the three sculptors from Rhodes Pliny mentions imitate the episode that Virgil recounts in theAeneid, reconfiguring the emotion to suit their medium, or were they working from an older account of the myth? This question bears on the relative status of the various branches of art. Virgil’s Aeneid, one of the preeminent literary works of Roman antiquity, is clearly great enough to have inspired a great work of sculpture, and if it did, then the written word, so intensely suggestive of raw emotion in Virgil’s account, might ultimately have a power to communicate more commandingly than that of plastic art. With Lessing, therefore, we encounter a context of struggle where an emerging culture of the word vies with an established visual culture that has held sway over the European imagination since the Renaissance. In this early version of the “Streit der Fakultäten” (“the struggle of the faculties”), it is the logic of the word that is pitted against the logic of the image, and behind this struggle, it is the northern mind, championed by the Lutheran Lessing, against the southern body, championed by Winckelmann, (who abandoned Lutheranism and converted to Catholicism in his mature years). At the centre of this struggle are the question and the status of pain.

In the Laokoon essay, Lessing concedes ground to Winckelmann, only to claim it back with advantage in a new context. He willingly concedes to Winckelmann that the plastic art of the ancient Greeks sought to realize the highest goal of beauty through an attitude of simplicity and grandeur. That even the rawest of emotions can be elevated to an attitude of suffering nobility illustrates the law of beauty to which sculpture, and the visual arts more generally, are tied. Beauty, in turn, is fashioned out of a single instant in time in which a complex of action and emotion is held. It is from this momentary complex of action and emotion that the visual imagination alights, as Lessing tells us. The passage from Lessing bears quotation in full:

“If the artist can never make use of more than a single moment in everchanging nature, and if the painter in particular can use this moment only with reference to a single vantage point, while the works of both painter and sculptor are created not merely to be given a glance but to be contemplated–contemplated repeatedly and at length–then it is evident that this single moment and the point from which it is viewed cannot be chosen with too great a regard for its effect. But only that which gives free rein to the imagination is effective. The more we see, the more we must be able to imagine. And the more we add in our imaginations, the more we must think we see. In the full course of an emotion, no point is less suitable for this than its climax. There is nothing beyond this, and to present the utmost to the eye is to bind the wings of fancy and compel it, since it cannot go beyond the impression made on the senses, to concern itself with weaker images, shunning the visible fullness already represented as a limit beyond which it cannot go.”

From this attempt to lay down rules for art in the visual mode, and the particular description of the emotions derived from them, we already sense why it is important that Lessing has the Laocoon before his mind’s eye – the Laocoon of the eighteenth century, Michaelangelo’s Laocoon. For the moment that this Laocoon repeats for us when we contemplate it is really a double moment in conflict with itself: the moment of primary emotion issuing from the experience of pain found in the original statue, and the aspect of heroic elevation effected by later attentions. One might well say that Winckelmann saw both moments and mistook them for an engaging singularity. Lessing, perhaps, also sees both moments, also mistakes them, but recoils before the barrenness of the primary emotion he still finds in the statue. Accordingly, he notes how unbearable an open-mouthed, unrestrained, crying Laocoon would be in the plastic medium. Such a moment would only tell of transitory existence, of non-transcendent, immanent being. It would entrap the imagination and do violence to the law of beauty. In fact it would be an impossible moment for art of truest beauty:

“All such transitory images [of unrestrained emotion], be they pleasant or terrible, take on an unnatural appearance when translated into art, so that repeated contemplation actually weakens the impression we have of such art and in the end we recoil in horror or loathing before it.”

Lessing’s project, perhaps, is now more evident. Beauty is the conditioning element of the visual arts, just as it is of the visual imagination, which strains against it. Beauty suggests a “visible fullness […] represented as a limit beyond which it cannot go”. We must therefore imagine a realm both elevated and restricted, heightened by the operation of innate laws and yet circumscribed by them. A realm closed off from temporality, striving for the timelessness of pure space, animated not by raw, but by pure, emotions – those emotions that point beyond the real experience of life to that which lies outside it. The artist has no choice but to follow the dictates of the artistic medium in which he works. Poetry, by contrast, reveals itself according to a different law – the law of “expression”. Expression is much nearer to the immanent ground of the emotions, yet not hostage to them. It unfolds in the realm of time, that is to say, it unfolds as a series of successive moments of discrete action. The proper object of poetry, therefore, is the depiction of those actions whose succession time records. This already suggests why Virgil is more direct about Laocoon’s suffering. For it is not the emotion of Laocoon that Virgil wishes to elevate, but Laocoon’s actions in seeking to defend the Trojans (the priestly seer Laocoon hurls a spear at the Trojan horse in order to warn the Trojans against accepting it, only to be punished by the god Apollo). Poetry describes this realm of elevated actions, and thus ties in closely with an ethical content. In fact poetry seems better fitted for the communication of ethical concerns, precisely because it is set below beauty and need not respond to it as a matter of its formal constitution.

Lessing’s argument about the Laocoon is therefore informed by particular constraints he finds in the plastic medium – constraints he does not find in poetry. His aim is to mark off the visual arts from poetry on precisely these grounds. The Laocoon of the marble group does not cry; the mouth is not yet open to admit a scream, nor would it have been artistically congenial for the marble Laocoon to admit such a scream. A wide, open mouth would have been degrading of the particular kind of beauty striven after in the visual medium. Here Lessing follows Winckelmann’s assumptions in the Geschichteabout the Laocoon, which provide for a more sensuous intimation of sublime beauty than the beauty of the “high” mode of representation to be found, say, in the Niobe. Both high and sensuously beautiful modes, taken together, nevertheless constitute the operation of the same imperative of austere beauty (Potts, 68). Virgil’s Laocoon, by contrast, screams indubitably. Yet he screams within a discursive medium that links action, which it is called upon to depict, to an ethical content. This already makes literature a more fitting tool for rational purposes, if these are held to be consonant with the ethical undertaking. Lessing’s own works for the stage – his Minna von Barnhelm orNathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise], for example – indicate that he thought literature and rationality did indeed meet at this level. In fact Lessing’s entire philosophical outlook appears to be based on the assumption that literature can bring ethical rationality into the world as a condition of its being. He is thus remembered as one of the main voices of rational Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century, and, along with Christoph Martin Wieland, its first true advocate in German literature.

And what of the problem of pain? If Laocoon’s pain was the key question in Winckelmann’s interpretation of the statue, it is shifted aside in Lessing’s account of it. Upcott thinks that the awareness of pain in the statue is represented in three distinct stages: the younger son and the father are bitten, the older son on the right is unwounded, but his horror – the horror of participant and spectator – is for that reason made all the keener. Despite the nobility of the father’s emotions, we are constantly drawn back in the statue to the moment of impending death and the desperate thought of escape – a path only open to the older son on the right. The moral: pain entraps us as the very precondition of our mortality. For Lessing, however, the question of pain is now secondary to the ethical undertaking that precedes it. The ethical undertaking is apparent when we assign certain differences to sculpture and poetry. Sculpture and painting face out towards (physical) beauty, but poetry faces inward to our ethical selves. Sculpture and painting are accordingly tied to the older preeminence of the visual mode and the “ekphrasis” which explicates it; poetry is linked to the new authority of “inner vision”, which is to say, of “enlightened” reason. This division between sculpture and painting on one side and poetry on the other corresponds exactly to the split indicated in Cartesian philosophy between body and mind:

“Physical beauty arises from the effect of many different parts in agreement with each other which can be beheld all at once. It requires that these parts lie adjacent to each other; and as those things whose parts lie adjacent to each other is the true object of painting, it is apparent that painting and painting alone can imitate physical beauty. The poet, who could only show the elements of beauty in temporal succession, resists the description of physical beauty as beauty completely.”

Lessing’s subtle polemic against Winckelmann consists in downgrading the ethical content of the visual arts under the rule of beauty in the visual mode, while simultaneously ascribing new ethical claims to the discursive medium of poetry. This is underscored by the priority Lessing establishes with respect to the historical question of the Laocoon’s provenance: the artists drew from the poet’s descriptions, and not the other way round. Once this shift is effected, pain loses its transitoriness as a single moment held in open space – the unframed space around the statue. Freed from such untrammeled visual contemplation, pain – no matter how directly and intensely communicated – takes its place among the succession of mediated appearances that characterizes the mode of poetry. This is nothing less than the logocentric move against the pain of the immanent body, which I consider to be the point of Lessing’s essay.

So, in the end, pain is turned back on itself, perhaps as Winckelmann held, though not entirely as he thought. It is the new discursive medium of “expression” that establishes its ascendancy with respect to the problem of pain. In Lessing’s account, the open lines of pain in the original statue are turned away from the immanent body and made transcendent under the rule of beauty. Pain in the visual mode can then only be encountered at moments of its disappearance, that is, when, at its most sensuously beautiful, pain organizes its flight from view. Although this is an idea Lessing takes from Winckelmann, Lessing adapts it to suit his purpose, which is to inculcate the rational undertaking in three logical stages. First, it is only in the province of poetry that uninhibited pain actually appears, but, divorced there from beauty, this will be pain without transcendent purpose. Secondly, the laws governing expression in poetry are ultimately directed at generating statements about the action of human beings in time, which is to say, about their ethical motivation. Poetry emerges as the special vehicle of ethical description for this reason. Thirdly, since poetry precedes the visual arts in the particular instance of the provenance of the Laocoon, it is further suggested that the states of ethical motivation described in poetry come before those of immanent physicality described in sculpture and painting – no matter what moral claims may be derived from the latter. In the poetic medium, then, pain will form but one moment in the succession of appearances unfolding in time from which the rational undertaking is derived. Since pain will no longer be presented to the imagination, as in classical Greek art, “mit einem Blicke”, that is, in its comprehensive singularity, pain can be placed below the sovereign concerns of mind-generated precepts. Immanent physicality, strictly speaking, will have no place among them. The move against the visual mode advanced by Lessing thus becomes an important stage in the emergence of the idealist phase of the German Enlightenment and its attempt in the late eighteenth century to resuscitate the rational endeavour.

Thus, in this particular version of the struggle between the ancients and the moderns, we register a second victory of the Reformation: Lessing’s northern victory of the reasoning, ethical mind over the sensuous, immanent body defended, however paradoxically, by Johann Joachim Winckelmann. It comes as no surprise that it fell to Freud, that denizen of the Empire between the Protestant north and the Catholic south, to revisit this conquest of the body by the mind more than a hundred years later and to explore the nature of all that it had since occasioned.



Khadija Z Carroll (2005), ‘Remembering the Figure: the Ekphrasis of J. J. Winckelmann,’ Word and Image, Vol. 21, No. 3, July-September. 261-9

Simon Richter (1992), Laocoon’s Body and the Aesthetics of Pain, Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

David Irwin (1972) (ed.): Winckelmann. Writings on Art, London: Phaidon Press.

G. E. Lessing (1892), Lessing’s Laokoon, ed, and introduction L.E. Upcott, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

I. Kant (1979), The Conflict of the Faculties = Streit der Fakultäten, transl. and introduction Mary J. Gregor, New York: Abaris Books.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1993) Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik. Oder: Griechenthum und Pessimismus, Stuttgart: Reclam .

Erwin Panofsky (1991) Perspective as Symbolic Form, translated by Christopher S. Wood, New York: Zone Books.

Alex Potts (1994). Flesh and the Ideal. Winckelmann and the Origins of Art History, New Haven and London: Yale U. P.

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