Peter von Blanckenhagen

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Peter Heinrich von Blanckenhagen (1909 in Riga, Latvia - 1990) was a scholar of Roman art, and especially ancient wall painting.

Early life[edit]

Born in Latvia, von Blanckenhagen and his family fled to Germany following the Bolshevik Revolution. It was in German universities that he received his training in classical archaeology.


In 1947, von Blanckenhagen went to the United States and was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago. He would return to Germany, but became an American citizen in 1956. As a scholar he was best known for his expertise in Roman painting and sculpture and he had a long and distinguished career during which he published numerous books and articles and held several eminent lectureships. At his death, von Blanckenhagen was the Robert Lehman Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.


Von Blanckenhagen was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1981.He was awarded the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement from the Archaeological Institute of America in 1982.


  • The Paintings from Boscotrecase. Heidelberg: F.H. Kerle, 1962.
  • "Daedalus and Icarus on Pompeian Walls," Römische Mitteilungen 75 (1968): 106-145.
  • The Augustan Villa at Boscotrecase. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, 1990.
  • "Das Bild des Menschen in der Romischen Kunst". Krefeld, Germany: Scherpe-Verlag, 1948. (The Human Image in Roman Art)

Further reading[edit]

  • Studies in Classical Art and Archaeology: a Tribute to Peter Heinrich von Blanckenhagen. Locust Valley, NY: J. J. Augustin, 1979.
  • Harrison, Evelyn B. "Peter Heinrich von Blanckenhagen, 1909-1990" American Journal of Archaeology (1991).