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Cambridge University Press
Greek Art and the Orient

Greek Art and the Orient

by Ann C. Gunter


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For over a century, scholars have recognized an “orientalizing period” in the history of early Greek art, in which Greek artisans fashioned works of art under the stimulus of Near Eastern imports or resident foreign artisans. Previous studies have emphasized the role of Greek and Phoenician traders in bringing about these contacts with the civilizations of the ancient Near East and Egypt, debating their duration or intensity in the Greek world. In this study, Ann Gunter interrogates the categories of “Greek” and “Oriental” as problematic and shifts emphasis to modes of contact and cultural transfers within a broader regional setting. Her provocative study places Greek encounters with the Near East and Egypt in the context of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, which by the 8th and 7th centuries BCE extended from southern Turkey to western Iran. Using an expanded array of archaeological and textual sources, she argues that crucial aspects of the identity and meaning of foreign works of art were constructed through circumstances of transfer, ownership, and display.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521832571
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/16/2009
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ann C. Gunter is currently a Professor of Art History at Northwestern University and previously served as curator of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. She is the author and editor of numerous books on Near Eastern art and Anatolian archaeology.

Table of Contents

1. Art and 'Assyrianization' along the imperial frontiers; 2. Conceptual geographies and frameworks; 3. Defining and interpreting styles; 4. Gifts, exchange, and acquisition; 5. Imperial ideologies and modes of appropriation.

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