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Gori, Antonio Fancesco

    Image Credit: Wikipedia

    Full Name: Gori, Antonio Fancesco

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1691

    Date Died: 1757

    Place Born: Florence, Tuscany, Italy

    Home Country/ies: Italy

    Subject Area(s): ancient, archaeology, Etruscan (culture or style), and Renaissance


    Archaeologist and historian of Renaissance art; early developer of systematic Etruscology. Gori took religious orders and was a priest of the Baptistry of S. Giovanni in Florence beginning in 1717 and prior there from 1746. He studied under Anton Maria Salvini (1653-1729) and was inspired by the Etruscan studies of Filippo Buonarroti (1661-1733). Gori was appointed a professor of history at the Liceo of Florence. An early work on classical inscriptions, Inscriptiones graecae et latinae, appeared in 1727. It was about this time, too, that he developed an interest in Renaissance art history. Gori produced his survey of the classical collections of Italy, the Museum florentinum beginning in 1731. Eventually completed after his death, it reached twelve volumes and was completed in 1763. Although the series embraced all media (gems, sculpture, coins, etc.), many of which had not previously been published, the work was uncritical, publishing poor quality examples and some forgeries. Gori founded the Societé Colombaria in 1735 in Florence, a companion society to Accademia Etrusca of Cortona. In 1736, Gori’s Museum etruscum began to appear (through 1743), a three-volume work on Etrscan objects. The popularity of Gori’s book and conclusions angered the other publishing Etruscanist of the time, Fancesco Scipione Maffei (1675-1755). Their quarrels seemed personal as well as professional, with Maffei criticizing Gori’s knowledge of the Etruscan alphabet and Gori accusing Maffei of plagiarism. Together with Stefano Evodio Assemani (1707-1782) he published various manuscripts in the Laurentia Library in 1743. He became provost of the Baptistery of San Giovanni in 1746. His Museum cortonense covered the antiquities of Cortona. The Museum florentinum was published over a thirty-five year period in four overall distinct parts, 1) antique cameos and portraits (Gemmae antiquae ex Thesauro Mediceo et privatorum dactyliothecis florentiae. Imagines virorum illustrium et deorum). 1731-1732, [2 volumes], 2) antique statues and monuments (Statuae antiquae dorum et virorum illustrium. 1734. [1 volume], 3) gold and silver coins (Antiqua numismata aurea et argentea. 1740-1740-1742. [3 volumes], 4) biographies of artists, architects, sculptors and engravers (Serie di ritratti degli eccellenti pittori 1752-1766. [6 volumes]. His methodoloy was influential in the establishment of f Archaeology. His works he presented to a wider audience information about objects that had previously been seen by only a privileged few. His publications of ancient sculpture and antiquities formed the repertory on which 18th-century scholarship as well as neoclassicism were later based. His work is listed in the bibliography of Leopoldo Conte Cicognara as 3417.

    Selected Bibliography

    Museum florentinum: Gemmae antiquae ex thesauro Mediceo et privatorum dactylothecis florentiae exhibentes tabulis C. Imagines Virorum illustrium et Deorum cum observationibus. 2 vols. Florence: ex Typographia Michaelis Nestenus et Francisci Moücke, 1731-1732; Museum Etruscum. Exhibiens insignia Veterum Etruscorum Monumenta. 3 vols. Florence: Caientanus Albizinius typographus,. 1737-1743; and Assemani, Stefano Evodio. Bibliothecae Mediceae Laurentianae et Palatinae codicum mss. orientalium catalogus : sub auspiciis regiae celsitudinis serenissimi Francisci III [etc.]. Florence: ex typographio Albiziniano, 1742; Museum cortonense in quo vetera monumenta complectuntur: anaglypha, thoreumata, gemmae inscalptae insculptaeque quae in Academia etrusca ceterisque nobilium virorum domibus adservantur, in plurimus tabulis aereis distributum,atque a Francisco Valesio Romano, Antonio Francisco Gorio florentino, et Rodulphino Venuti cortonense. Notis illustratum. Rome: Sumptibus Fausti Amidei, Typis Joannis Generosi Salomoni, 1750; Symbolae litterariae, opuscula varia philologica, scientifica, antiquaria, signa, lapides, numismata, gemmas et monumenta. 5 vols. Rome: ex typographio Palladis sumtibus Nicolai et Marci Palearini, 1751-1754.


    Berghaus, Peter, ed, Der Archäologe: Graphische Bildnisse aus dem Porträtarchiv Diepenbrock Münster: Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, 1983; Cristofani, Mauro. La scoperta degli etruschi: Archaeologia e antiquaria nel ‘700. Rome: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche,1983; Dictionary of Art


    "Gori, Antonio Fancesco." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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