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In Pursuit of Ancient PastsA History of Classical Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries$
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Stephen L. Dyson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300110975

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300110975.001.0001

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The Foundations of Classical Archaeology

The Foundations of Classical Archaeology

(p.20) Chapter 2 The Foundations of Classical Archaeology
In Pursuit of Ancient Pasts

Stephen L. Dyson

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the foundations of classical archaeology and discusses the French Academy in Rome, which was founded in 1666 by Louis XIV as a study center where artists could work creatively in the presence of great classical masterpieces. The academy that had operated under royal patronage was dissolved in 1793, but the institution was reborn and its traditions continued. By the eighteenth century, Roman classicism that under Louis had been used to re-inforce the French monarchy was put to the service of republican values. In 1793, the Central Museum of Arts was established in Paris to house classical antiquities. The archaeological ambitions of the new French Empire became clear in 1797 with the Treaty of Tolentino, which provided, among other things, for the shipment to France of great Vatican archaeological treasures as well as artworks from other Italian cities.

Keywords:   artists, classical masterpieces, royal patronage, Roman classicism, republican values, classical antiquities

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