FIRST EDITION, illustrated with 208 beautiful copper-plate engravings and numerous in-text illustrations and vignettes.
Winckelmann is best known for his monumental Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (History of the Art of Antiquity, 1764), which enjoyed tremendous popular success and permanently reshaped aesthetic criticism. The Monuments, his last published work, stands by itself as "a masterpiece of interpretation and explanation" and "a pioneering work in the field of archaeological methodology" (Catholic Encyclopedia; Lappmann). Significantly, it is also the only one of Winckelmann's works published in his lifetime to be extensively illustrated.
Folio, contemporary vellum with original red leather label, decorated endpapers. Two volumes in one. Text in Italian. Bookplates. Light wear to binding, very small library number on dedication leaf, small tear to endpaper. Occasional light foxing. Plates very clean. A superb, wide-margined copy in contemporary vellum of the beautifully-illustrated first edition.