Le Antichità di Ercolano Esposte  

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

Le Antichità di Ercolano Esposte[1] (The Antiquities discovered in Herculaneum) is an 8 volume book. Its publication was initiated by command of Charles III of Spain and printed in Naples from 1755 to 1792 under the direction of the Accademia Ercolanese (Herculaneum Academy).

These volumes were among the first descriptions of the excavations of the Herculaneum and were to have a decisive influence on incipient Neoclassicism, out of all proportion to its limited circulation; in the later 18th century, motifs from Herculaneum began to appear on stylish furnishings, from decorative wall-paintings and tripod tables to perfume burners and teacups.

However, the book was not always favourably received. In 1775 the London review The Monthly Review called it "obscene trash" that "would be better consigned to oblivion".[2].

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