Luigi Lanzi ( born June 17, 1732 in Treia, then Montecchio in Macerata, Marche, Italy, † March 31, 1810 Florence ) was an Italian historian (archeology, Etruscan studies, art history ) and philologist.
Lanzi joined the Jesuit order and dealt with monuments of the Etruscans. At first he lived in Rome. After the dissolution in 1773, he worked since 1775 in Florence for the Grand Duke Leopold II in the Galleria degli Uffici, from 1776 as a curator. In this context, he cataloged the collections and reorganized them. Various collections were outsourced, only archeology and graphics remained with the painting in the museum. His guide through the new collection appeared in 1782. In Florence he was also president of the Accademia della Crusca.
His main interest was archaeological sites. In his Saggio di lingua e di altre etrusca antiche d' Italia (3 volumes, 1789), he presented the first research paper on the life and culture of the Etruscans. He also wrote a book on Etruscan vases, which he attributed to incorrect Greek style and also dealt extensively with ancient art, and was surpassed in his day only by Johann Joachim Winckelmann. Later eer turned to the history of Italian art, in which he first published in a style oriented encyclopedia of Italian painting with the extensive Storia pittorica dell'Italia. Previously, the art-historical works were mostly biography - oriented to individual painters. For the work he not only studied the literature very accurate, but also visited churches and museums in central and northern Italy. The first part appeared in 1792 and the remainder in the second edition in 1796 ( 3rd edition 1809). The work has been translated into several languages, including into German. In this work, Lanzi coined the term Mannerism art historical style for the transition period from the Renaissance to the Baroque.
- Storia pittorica dell'Italia dal Risorgimento delle belle arti fin presso al fine del XVIII secolo, 4 volumes, Milan 1824-1825, 6 volumes, Venice: P. Milesi 1837/38 ( first in 1792, in three volumes 1795/96 in Bassano ) English Translation The history of painting in Italy, from the period of the revival of the fine arts to the end of the eighteenth century, 6 volumes, London 1828
- German translation: History of Painting in Italy, from the revival of the art until the late 18th century, 3 vols, Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth 1830, publisher Adolph Wagner, translation and commentary by JG Quandt
He also published the Works and Days of Hesiod (Florence, 1808) with translation and transmission in terza rima. Are also his theological works ( Opere sacre ). There are also travel reports of him appeared.