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date: 12 December 2019

Furtwängler, (Johann) Adolf (Michael)locked

(b Freiburg im Breisgau, June 30, 1854; d Athens, Oct 10, 1907).
  • Thomas Braun

Extract

(Michael)

(b Freiburg im Breisgau, June 30, 1854; d Athens, Oct 10, 1907).

German archaeologist. His pioneering work transformed the study of Greek art from dependence on literary sources into a discipline based on a comprehensive knowledge of artefacts. Furtwängler was descended from a Black Forest family of peasants, wood-carvers and clockmakers; he attended Freiburg school, where his father was headmaster, studied Classics at Freiburg and Leipzig, and Classical archaeology under Heinrich Brunn (1822–94), the first professor of the subject at Munich. At the newly established Deutsches Archäologisches Institut at Rome (1877–8), he acquired mastery of the vast quantity of Greco-Roman sculpture in Italian collections. In Greece (1878–9) he studied original Greek artefacts, plentifully unearthed in recent excavations. He and Georg Loeschke (1852–1915) classified and published the pottery excavated by Heinrich Schliemann at Mycenae. Furtwängler’s work on 14,150 small bronzes from Olympia culminated in his authoritative fourth volume of the German excavation reports (1890...

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Neue deutsche Biographie (Berlin, 1953–)