[N.B. that I find even this entry from a relatively recent book contains more than a tinge of racism, e.g. “…due to the culture’s lack of beautiful models.”]

“Afrocentrism: A general theory placing the origins of humans on the African continent. Due to its recent dissemination, its effect on art history has been limited so far. Winckelmann’s History of Ancient Art (1764) is generally recognized as founding the discipline of art history. It emphasizes that the imperfection of ancient Egyptian art was inevitable, due to that culture’s lack of beautiful models, a situation contrary to that in which Greek art developed. However, recent evidence that Egyptian deities and ultimately Greek philosophy were partially derived from sub-Saharan cultures will further affect our understanding about the origins of Western art.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

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