Online Talk | Paweł Gołyźniak on Philipp von Stosch

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on April 17, 2022

From The Wallace Collection:

Paweł Gołyźniak, Philipp von Stosch and His Circle: Collecting and Studying of Ancient Engraved Gems, from Antiquarianism to Proto-Archaeology
Online, The Wallace Collection, London, 25 April 2022, 17.30 (BST)

Paweł Gołyźniak’s research traces and examines Philipp von Stosch’s (1691–1757) collecting, antiquarian, and scholarly activities in terms of engraved gems on the basis of the unknown pictorial (drawings) and archival sources. The discovery of nearly 2300 unknown gem drawings in the Princes Czartoryski Museum in Krakow gives an opportunity to present him as one of the most instrumental figures of 18th-century antiquarianism. The seminar will discuss Stosch’s outstanding collection of intaglios and glass gems, and most importantly his scholarly projects: starting from his celebrated book Gemmae antiquae caelatae published in 1724 in Amsterdam, through to his attempts to write a supplement to that study, documentation of his own collection of gems and other European gem cabinets, and, finally, the virtually unknown project Histoire universaille, meant to reflect history, mythologies, and customs of the ancient Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans, combined with a reconstruction of the history of glyptic art.

For all his enterprises, Stosch commissioned large quantities of drawings that were produced in a truly archaeological vein with attention paid to such issues as material, form, right proportions, state of preservation, provenance, etc. of the reproduced gems. Often the gems received extensive commentaries explaining their iconography and providing analogies in sculpture, reliefs, wall paintings, and coins. Relevant passages in ancient literary sources were also referenced. The study of Stosch’s scholarly activities advances our understanding of emergence of archaeology as a scientific discipline. The discovered pictorial documentation provokes us to hypothesise that Stosch, his collecting, and scholarly enterprises greatly inspired and influenced Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) in writing his first synthesis of ancient art (Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums) published in 1764.

This talk will be hosted online through Zoom and The Wallace Collection’s YouTube channel.

Pawel Golyzniak is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Archaeology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow.


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