Pliny the Elder

Full Name: 
Pliny the Elder
Place Died: 
Pompeii, Rome
Home Country: 
Roman Empire
Roman Empire

Describes and discusses art in books 34-36 of Historia Naturalis. Using a biomorphic paradigm to describe artistic development, Pliny uses a birth/development/decline method to art which would be highly influential for the art methodology of the middle ages and renaissance. In this sense he carries on the legacy of Xenocrates (q.v.) influencing as late a scholar as Winckelmann (q.v.). Pliny avoided discussing works of art as isolated examples of history.

Selected Bibliography: 

Historia Naturalis.


Kultermann, Udo. The History of Art History. New York: Abaris, 1993, p. 3.

Lee Sorensen