Heinen, Ulrich (Hg.): Welche Antike? Konkurrierende Rezeptionen des Altertums im Barock, 1176 Seiten, 152 Abbildungen - 24,0 × 17,0 cm, ISBN 978-3-447-06405-7, 169.00 EUR
(Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2011)
Compte rendu par Mandy Richter, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Nombre de mots : 3095 mots
Publié en ligne le 2015-08-25
Citation: Histara les comptes rendus (ISSN 2100-0700).
Lien: http://histara.sorbonne.fr/cr.php?cr=1705
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          These two-volume conference proceedings address the question of which specific part or aspect of the sweeping term “Antiquity” was emulated or discussed in the Baroque period, it also considers how such emulation occurred[1]. As the editor Ulrich Heinen states, the presupposition for the answer to that question is the expansion of knowledge about Antiquity (16), in particular since the seventeenth century, and the conscious, but also controversial, use of singular aspects in its reception.


          For years, research into the reception of Antiquity in the Baroque period has advanced systematically, however the extent and breadth of its reception as is shown within this publication, cannot be confronted with any previously published volume[2].The scope of inquiry is expanded to the fields of history, religion, literature and the arts, and puts Eastern Europe into perspective alongside better-known cultural areas such as Italy, Germany, England and France. The term “Antiquity” is used here not only in reference to Ancient Rome and Greece, but instead refers to all that was considered “ancient” during the Baroque period. In that way it extends beyond the limitations of canonical Mediterranean Antiquity (16) and comprises, besides Patristics and Early Christianity, other ancient cultures such as the Illyrians, Sarmatians and Etruscans. “The double controversial structure of a heterogeneous Antiquity and its conflicting utilizations” mentioned by Heinen in this context (15), shows that both the ancient material and its Early Modern reception have proven to be much more complex than previously shown.


          To organize the wide range of material covered by the 57 collected essays, the two volumes are divided into an introductory part and four subsequent sections that deal with the controversial reception of antique communities and forms of government, the religions of Late Antiquity, how people acted in Antiquity, as well as ancient arts. As a whole the aspects analyzed represent a selection of the divergent tendencies in different genres and fields from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that are commonly subsumed under the term “Baroque”.


          In the introductory section, Thomas Leinkauf demonstrates how diverse the philosophy of the “Antique” proved to be in its Early Modern reception. He therefore distinguishes between the reception of original and subsequent antique philosophical schools, and examines which of those schools was met with an intense response in the Early Modern Period. In this way, Leinkauf opens the reader’s eyes and provides fundamental considerations for the subsequent essays, which deal with single aspects or isolated cases. Following this, Gerrit Walther illustrates different ways that Antiquity was used for political purposes during the Baroque period and indicates multiple changes in how Antiquity was dealt with. He sheds light on the role of Antiquity during the religious schism and the confessional wars, its new definition by popes and the curia through the study of Antiquity, the reference to it by Protestants and humanists, and finally the attempt to outdo ancient times during the Grand Siècle. In this regard, the essays of Leinkauf and Walter complement each other very well, because they introduce concisely the Early Modern reception of Antiquity and its possible contexts. The next three studies are dedicated to more specific subjects: while Nicolette Mout demonstrates via the philosopher and philologist Justus Lipsius how individuals used ancient philosophy to resolve political and military problems of that time (139), Ingo Herklotz shows quite plainly that from the seventeenth century onwards the profession of the antiquarian was increasingly caricatured, which implies a dispute about “traditional values” (142). At the end of the introductory section, Werner Oechslin scrutinizes the terms “classical”, “Baroque” and “Antiquity” by using the texts of Heinrich Wölfflin and questions whether such definitions make sense at all.


          Section One of the two volumes includes sixteen essays that revolve around the topic of “ancient communities and forms of government within the social dispute during the Baroque period”. Antiquity as “meta-text to the events of the day” (209) and the question of how contemporary ideas of dominion and ancient models are connected, are both examined in various ways. How was Antiquity used and, above all, for what purpose was it invoked? In the preface to this section, Elisabeth Klecker and Dirk Niefanger indicate that authentic or genuine Antiquity was cast aside, and that it was instead “staged with political, cultural, and social constellations in mind” (210). The collected studies focus most of all on individual historical figures and their utilization of Antiquity. Examples deal with the German, Dutch, English, Polish, as well as the Italian and French cultural areas, with references pointing to numerous other domains (211). This is exemplified in the study of Werner Wilhelm Schnabel. The German lyricist Julius Wilhelm Zincgref collected in his work, Teutscher Nation Klug = außgesprochene Weißheit, specific German aphorisms, the so-called Apophthegmata, that were to demonstrate the cultural equality of Germans to other civilizations. But instead of referring to the origin text of this genre, Plutarch’s Moralia, he traced the German “Klugredenheit” back to the “old Germans”, and before them the Wends, Goths, Vandals, Frisians, Bohemians and Scythians, and in that way pointing to a “tradition sui generis” (255). The Teutschen are staged by Zincgref consciously as an antipode to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. In doing so he rejects their claim for absoluteness in this area. Schnabel concludes that the work of Zincgref has to be set within the context of efforts to recognize German as a literary language.


          The second section analyzes “the religions of Late Antiquity as arguments for religious identities within the Baroque period”. It pursues the question of how Antiquity, which, in this section includes Early Christianity to a great extent, was exploited or evaluated by different religious denominations. A striking example for these different perceptions is presented in the essay of David Ganz in which he focuses on how Early Christian churches and their interiors were seen in post-Tridentine Rome. He demonstrates how contradictory and tense that relationship was and describes three levels of interaction that range between material preservation, structural annexation, and demolition that was partially linked to documentation. He connects this “tension between preservation and destruction” back to a “controversial orientation at specific points of Antiquity” (517). In that way he illustrates how different Early Christian churches and their decoration were conceived in the seventeenth century, but at the same time were part of a “creation of history and unification of the Catholic Church” (520).


          The third section of the conference proceedings comprises nine studies that deal with “ancient concepts of life as competitive models in the Baroque period”. The essays address the question of which aspects of Antiquity found continuity within everyday life and how they were integrated. For instance, Ulrich G. Leinsle explains that Jakob Pontanus’ famous schoolbook, the Progymnasmata Latinitatis (1588-1594), with the help of dialogues and disputations discusses questions concerning scholarly education, amongst other things which ancient philosophical school should be followed in everyday life. The choices were the four philosophical schools of Antiquity: Platonists, Peripatetics, Stoics, and Epicureans (815). According to Pontanus, the Peripatetics finally brought light to humanity, which is why he recommended following Aristotelianism in everyday life. About 20 years before the Progymnasmata, around 1570, there was a quarrel amongst the Jesuits regarding which Renaissance interpretation of Aristotelianism should be followed. In response, Pontanus advised the reader of his Progymnasmata to follow an antique Aristotelianism that is “definitely read with the glasses of Cicero and probably also Erasmus, seen without the context of theology.” (818f) These different concepts and interpretations of ancient philosophy, even of Aristotelianism, a striking example of the aforementioned “heterogenic Antiquity” (16), were meant by Pontanus to be in opposition with each other. Ganz shows that their evaluation was part of the contemporary scholarly reality.


          Within the last section dealing with “ancient arts as part of the controversies in the Baroque period” there are seventeen essays illustrating the diversity and particular constructions of Antiquity within the arts. Here, the editor was especially interested in the following questions: What remains of Antiquity and which Antiquity persists? Are the individual cases of reception within the arts perhaps only mere constructions and are there unifying characteristics in the appropriation of Antiquity? In search of answers, Stefan Schweizer’s essay on atlantes, caryatids and Persians within the architecture of the Baroque period should be mentioned. These architectural elements, which were used either for supporting or decorative purposes during the Baroque period, are of particular interest because Vitruvius' De Architectura libri decem, one of the few primary sources from Roman Antiquity, provided a detailed description of them. The origins of the caryatids and the Persian Porch as told by Vitruvius demonstrate the link between architectural elements of support and the symbolism of slavery. In contrast to the text of Vitruvius, ancient artifacts known during the Early Modern Period were not considered binding precedents[3]. Schweizer demonstrates convincingly that these architectural elements were connected with the display of punishment and oppression on a graphic sheet of Marcantonio Raimondi from the 1520s, which was in turn echoed in later editions of Vitruvius. However, no sculptural representation is to be found in the architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries following Vitruvius’ description that interprets the supporting elements with regards to slavery or oppression. This conscious deviation replies on the one hand to the lack of ancient visual models and conforms on the other hand to the reluctance of visualizing oppression and slavery within these architectural elements. The Baroque adaptations should therefore be seen as innovations in opposition to the descriptions of Vitruvius that use antique origins only as a starting point.


          As was shown here with the help of four selected essays, these conference proceedings focus most of all on single aspects of the reception of Antiquity. Its merit is in demonstrating that the term “Antiquity” does not reflect (or does so only insufficiently) the heterogeneity of Antiquity, which was itself a controversy in the Early Modern Period. This differs essentially from the understanding of Antiquity of preceding centuries. In order to approach this complicated phenomenon, the individual contributors distinguished between diverse currents or conceptions, single authors, and even individual works to outline the context and reception of Antiquity in the Baroque period. This allowed the contributors to focus on issues such as which Antiquity was adopted in the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, for what purpose was it utilized, and which Antiquity was appropriated in the document or work under scrutiny?  A complete overview of all adapted “Antiquities” or an answer to the related question as to what was considered “antique” seems, after finishing the volume(s), hardly possible. Not least, this is rooted in the very subjective points of view and singular utilizations of “Antiquity” by individual historical agents.


          Introductory texts to all of the sections could perhaps have helped to better shape the profiles of the different subject areas and contextualize the essays, and to explain to the reader the main ideas of the respective sections. It would also have been possible to add English abstracts to the predominantly German studies to open this new research to a broader audience. Furthermore, the editors could have considered streamlining these conference proceedings by eliminating the less essential contributions. Nonetheless, the contribution of this publication should not be underrated, because all of these studies are exemplary in revealing the range of the Baroque reception of Antiquity; the breadth of this contribution has no precedents. The controversial reception of a heterogeneous conception of Antiquity during the Baroque period is thus enriched by numerous studies, which will surely spark adaptations or debates in the coming years.




[1] The conference proceedings are based on the twelfth annual meeting of the Arbeitskreis für Barockforschung, that took place in Wolfenbüttel from April 5th – 8th, 2006. The minutes can be found online (http://www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-1119 ).

[2] The most noteworthy study prior to the volume under review is the conference proceedings from „Antikenrezeption im Hochbarock“ (ed. by Herbert Beck. Berlin 1989), which focused on the reception of Antiquity in painting, sculpture and architecture in the second half of the seventeenth century.

[3] Schweizer demonstrates that the fragments of the caryatids within the ruins of the Foro Augusto were in fact found in the fifteenth century, but that it was not known that they were copies of the caryatids of the Erectheion in Athens. This is most likely linked to the fact that they do not seem to incorporate the exemplo servitutis that Vitruvius mentions.







Part I


Ulrich Heinen: Einleitung, pp.11-28.

Thomas Leinkauf: Die Frühe Neuzeit und die antike Philosophie. pp. 29-78.

Gerrit Walther: Barocke Antike und barocke Politik. Ein Überblick. pp. 79-115.

Nicolette Mout: Zuviel Antike? Justus Lipsius als Zankapfel zwischen Katholiken und Protestanten. Ansichten über den Staat und den Krieg. pp. 117-140.

Ingo Herklotz: Der Antiquar als komische Figur. Ein literarisches Motiv zwischen Querelle und altertumswissenschaftlicher Methodenreflexion. pp. 141-182.

Werner Oechslin: „Das Wort ‚klassisch‘ hat für uns etwas Erkältendes.“ (Heinrich Wölfflin) pp. 183-206.


Section 1: Antike Gemeinschaften und Herrschaftsformen im gesellschaftlichen Streit des Barock


Elisabeth Klecker und Dirk Niefanger: Einleitung der Sektion: Antike Gemeinschaften und Herrschaftsformen im gesellschaftlichen Streit des Barock. pp. 209-213.

Hartmut Laufhütte: Der Umgang mit der Antike in Sigmund von Birkens Herrscherpanegyrik. pp. 215-229.

Harald Bolluck: „Quem imiter?“ Antiquarische Forschung und Philologie bei Martin Opitz. pp. 231-245.

Werner Wilhelm Schnabel: Griechen, Römer und die „alten Teutschen“. Normhegemonie und kulturelle Perspektivierung in Zincgrefs Apophthegmata. pp. 247-260.

Susanne Rode-Breymann: Lebensbilder hervorragender Tüchtigkeit. Plutarch-Rezeption in Opern am Habsburger Kaiserhof. Ein Versuch. pp. 261-276.

Sebastian Werr: Gegenwart als Fortsetzung der Antike. Zur Formung von Herrschaftsbildern in und durch Münchner Opern des späten 17. Jahrhunderts. pp. 277-289.

Thorsten Fitzon: „Brutus die König hat verjagt“. Antiker Republikanismus auf bürgerlichen Bühnen. Caspar Brülow, Josua Wetter und Andreas Gryphius im Vergleich. pp. 291-309.

Cornelis van der Haven: Staats-Torheit oder Freiheitskampf? Die Revolte des Brutus auf der Amsterdamer und Hamburger Bühne. pp. 311-323.

Lubomír Konečný: Raising on a Shield. The Afterlife of an Ancient Pathosformel in Seventeenth-Century Art and Politics. pp. 325-345.

Nils Büttner: Aurei saeculi imago. Antike als Instrument politischer Konflikte in den Niederlanden. pp. 347-365.

Christof Ginzel: Joseph von Arimathäa, Konstantin der Große und Jakob I. von Großbritannien. Die Rezeption des Frühen Christentums in Magna Britannia zwischen nationaler Selbstinszenierung und monarchischen Kalkül. pp. 367-372.

Mara R. Wade: Die Pax Danica und die frühneuzeitliche Idee der klassischen Monarchie. Dänische Hoffeste und das Imperium maris Baltici. pp. 373-395.

Isabella Woldt: Sobieskis Königsresidenz in Wilanów und Krasińskis Palais in Warschau. Architektur im Spannungsfeld von Antikenrezeption und Sarmatismus im Barock. pp. 397-429.

Zrinka Blažević: How to revive Illyricum? Political Institution of the ‚Illyrian Emperors‘ in Early Modern Illyrism. pp. 431-444.

Caroline Callard: Du bon usage des Étrusque dans l’Italie du Seicento. Les enjeux de la querelle des fausses antiquités de Volterra. pp. 445-460.

Alfred Noe: Die Religionen der Antike und ihr Zusammenleben in Honoré d’Urfés Astrée. pp. 461-474.


Section 2: Spätantike Religionen als Argumente religiöser Identitäten im Barock


Bartosz Awianowicz: Die Progymnasmata-Sammlungen und der Glaubenskampf des 17. Jahrhunderts. pp. 477-489.

Nadja Horsch: Gregory Martins Roma sancta (1581). Eine exemplarische Quelle zur Rezeption der christlichen Spätantike im posttridentinischen Rom. pp. 491-506.

David Ganz: Rückblick im Zwiespalt. Frühchristliche Kunst im nachtridentinischen Rom. pp. 507- 532.

Daniel Bolliger: Johann Conrad Dannhauers Christeis sive drama sacrum (Straßburg 1646). Die Geschichte der Alten Kirche als konfessionelles Drama. pp. 533-557.

Silke-Petra Bergjan: Die Literatur des antiken Christentums im Sabbatstreit in den Niederlanden. Die Anfänge der akademischen Auseinandersetzung. pp. 559-579.

Dietrich Hakelberg: „Heidnische Greuel und abscheulicher Leichen-Brand.“ Archäologische Praxis und die Pietismuskontroverse bei David Sigmund Büttner (1660-1719). pp. 581-602.

Anna Eusterschulte: Die kritische Revision des christlichen Platonismus bei Jakob Thomasius. pp. 603-625.

Hanns-Peter Neumann: Hermes oder Pythagoras. Die Diskreditierung des Hermetismus durch Isaac Casaubon und der Versuch seiner Rehabilition bei Ralph Cudworth. pp. 627-640.

Yossef Schwartz: Die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Kabbala im Denken des 17. Jahrhunderts. pp. 641-654.


Part II


Section 3: Antike Lebenskonzepte als Konkurrenzmodelle im Barock


Barbara Mahlmann-Bauer: Frömmigkeit zwischen Reformation und Gegenreformation im antiken Gewand. Das Beispiel der Gedichte Heinrich Glareans. Mit einem Exkurs zu einer Vertonung Glareans von Melanie Wild. pp. 667-721.

Ferdinand van Ingen: Märtyrer. Ein Verhaltensmuster der christlichen Antike und seine Umbildung im Protestantismus der Frühen Neuzeit. pp. 723-735.

Vanessa von der Lieth: Die Rezeption antiker Mythologeme im Betrachtungswerk Catharina Regina von Greiffenbergs. pp. 737-751.

Rosmarie Zeller: Moralische und politische Modelle und Antimodelle in Seckendorffs Kommentar zu Lucans Pharsalia und Corneilles La Mort de Pompée. pp. 753-768.

Gilbert Hess: Figurationen der Person Neros im Barock. pp. 769-782.

Guillaume van Gemert: Boethius als Lebensmodell. Christian Knorr von Rosenroth und Johann Hellwig in Konkurrenz. pp. 783-795.

Stefanie Arend: Lob was dürr – Der Wert der schönen Körperform. Jacob Baldes satirischer Wettstreit zwischen den Mageren und den Feisten. pp. 797-807.

Ulrich G. Leinsle: Antike Lebenskonzepte in jesuitischer Wirklichkeit. Die akademischen Reden und Progymnasmata Latinitatis des Jakob Pontanus. pp. 809-833.

Jörn Steigerwald: Urbanitas. Ausfaltungen der höfischen Ethik zwischen Guez de Balzac und Christian Thomasius. pp. 835-848.


Section 4: Antike Künste in den Kontroversen des Barock


Ulrich Heinen und Sandra Richter: Einleitung der Sektion. Antike Künste in den Kunstkontroversen des Barock. pp. 851-858.

Martin Disselkamp: Antiquarische Verwirrungen. Rom als Herausforderung an das mittelalterliche und frühneuzeitliche Wissen von der Antike. pp. 859-871.

Thomas Behme: Erhard Weigels Programm einer Wiederherstellung der aristotelischen Philosophie aus dem Geist des Euklid. pp. 873-886.

Simone de Angelis: Autopsie und Autorität. Zum komplexen Verhältnis zweier medizinischer Basiskonzepte und ihrer Funktion in der Formation einer ‚Wissenschaft vom Menschen‘ im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. pp. 887-901.

Thomas Schirren: Die Statuslehre in Vossius‘ Commentarii Rhetorici von 1630. pp. 903-920.

Ulrike Zeuch: Literatur als Mimesis eines der Möglichkeit nach Wahrscheinlichen oder Notwendigen. Zur Rezeption des neunten Kapitels der Poetik des Aristoteles. pp. 921-932.

Sandra Richter: Außer Konkurrenz? Die Ars poetica des Horaz in Kommentar und Poetik des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts. pp. 933-956.

Elisabeth Rothmund: Antike Vorbilder und neue Dichtungsformen im deutschen Barock. pp. 957-969.

Katrin Kohl: Inspiration, Ingenium, Technik. Die apologetische Bedeutung der Ursprungstopik in der deutschsprachigen Kunsttheorie und Poetik der Frühen Neuzeit. pp. 971-983.

Minna Skafte Jensen: Competing aesthetics in the poetry of Zacharias Lund (1608 – 1667). pp. 985-994.

Annett Volmer: Die Umwertung der Antikerezeption als Memoria-Konzeption in den Schriften italienischer Autorinnen um 1600. pp. 995-1006.

Laure Gauthier: Der paradoxe Status der Oper im 17. Jahrhundert. Eine ‚neue‘, antik fundierte Kunst. pp. 1007-1021.

Marie-Thérèse Mourey: Antike Quellen in der Legitimation der Tanzkunst. pp. 1023-1035.

Nadia J. Koch: Der Paradigmenwechsel von der ars zum artifex um 1600. Ludovicus Demontiosius‘ und Franciscus Junius‘ Systematiken der antiken Künste. pp. 1037-1046.

Stefan Schweizer: Konkurrenzen  zwischen Text- und Artefaktautorität. Atlanten, Karyatiden und Perser in der Architektur und Architekturtheorie des Barock. pp. 1047-1078.

Damian Dombrowski: Bernini „moderno“? Bemerkungen zur kontroversen Antikenrezeption in der Skulptur des römischen Hochbarock. pp. 1079-1113.

Anna Schreurs: „Stehet Rom, der Städte Ruhm / Auf dem Raum der Teutschen Erde?  Soll Tarpejens Alterthum Jetzt den Allemannen werden?“ Antworten des Künstlers und Kunstliteraten Joachim von Sandrart auf diese Frage. pp. 1115-1156.