The only way for us to become great lies in the imitation of the Greeks  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"The only way for us to become great lies in the imitation of the Greeks" is a dictum by German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, featured in "Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture" (1755) became the slogan of Neoclassicism.

It defends imitation over originality.

German original

"Der einzige Weg für uns, groß, ja, wenn es möglich ist, unnachahmlich zu werden, ist die Nachahmung der Alten"

Alternative translation.

"The only way for us to become great or, if this be possible, inimitable, is to imitate the ancients"

See also




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