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Cambridge University Press
Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: The Allure of the Classical

Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: The Allure of the Classical

by Rachel Meredith Kousser


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In this book, Rachel Kousser draws on contemporary reception theory to present a new approach to Hellenistic and Roman ideal sculpture. She analyzes the Romans' preference for retrospective, classicizing statuary based on Greek models as opposed to the innovative creations prized by modern scholars. Using a case study of a particular sculptural type, a forceful yet erotic image of Venus, Kousser argues that the Romans self-consciously employed such sculptures to represent their ties to the past in a rapidly evolving world. Kousser presents Hellenistic and Roman ideal sculpture as an example of a highly effective artistic tradition that was, by modern standards, extraordinarily conservative. At the same time, the Romans' flexible and opportunistic use of past forms also had important implications for the future: it constituted the origins of classicism in Western art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521877824
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Pages: 214
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Rachel Kousser is Assistant Professor of Ancient Art at Brooklyn College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, the Romish-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz, the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation, and the American Numismatic Society. She has contributed several articles to the American Journal of Archaeology.

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Approaching Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: Ancient and Modern Perspectives 1

Copying or Emulation? Modern Approaches to Ancient Ideal Sculpture 4

Retrospection and Transformation in Roman Culture: The Evidence of the Ancient Literary Sources 8

Organization of the Study 14

Chapter 1 Creating the Past: The Origins of Classicism in Hellenistic Sculpture 17

Introduction: Transforming Aphrodite from the Classical to Hellenistic Eras 17

Aphrodite Hoplismene in Corinth: A Martial and Erotic Classical Cult Statue 19

Aphrodite in the Gymnasium: The Venus de Milo 28

Domesticating Aphrodite: Statuettes for the Home 34

Aphrodite in the Tomb 36

Conclusions: From Polis to Panhellenic Sanctuary - New Contexts for Classicism in the Hellenistic Era 40

Chapter 2 From Greece to Rome: Retrospective Sculpture in the Early Empire 45

Introduction: Representing the Principate - The Evolution of Roman Art from Augustus to Domitian 45

Classical Art and Greek Myth in the Forum Augustum 47

Hybrid Retrospection in Early Imperial Aphrodisias 54

Venus and Victory in the Forum of Brescia 58

Creating Canon: Gems and Glass Pastes of Victoria Romana 63

Imperial Victory on Flavian Coinage 66

The Diffusion of the Canon: Military Images from Germany and Illyricum 70

Representing the Victorious Emperor in Sabratha 73

Conclusions: Public and Private Classicism in the Early Empire 74

Chapter 3 From Metropolis to Empire: Retrospective Sculpture in the High Empire 81

Introduction: The Artistic Construction of Empire, A.D. 100-250 81

Virtus, Humanitas, andLegitimacy in Roman Imperial Art 84

"The Seductions of Civilization": Votive Monuments from Roman Germany 91

Pleasure and Paideia: Aphrodite and the Baths in Roman Asia Minor 100

Conclusions: The Flexibility and Resonance of Classical Forms in Provincial and Funerary Art 106

Chapter 4 From Roman to Christian: Retrospection and Transformation in Late Antique Art 111

Introduction: The Selective Survival of Classical Forms in a Christian World 111

Imperial Victory from Constantine to Arcadius 114

Triumph and Good Living in Late Antique Domestic Decor 122

Victory and Death: Sarcophagi in Tombs and Catacombs 130

Conclusions: Late Antique Art and the Power of the Past 135

Conclusion: An Ancient Renaissance? Classicism in Hellenistic and Roman Sculpture 136

Neither Copies nor Originals: Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculptures Reconsidered 136

Greek Statue Types in Hellenistic and Roman Art: A Survey of Recent Literature 138

Retrospection and Diversity: Three Case Histories 140

Not Originality but Utility: Toward a New History of Hellenistic and Roman Art 149

Notes 153

Work Cited 179

Index 199

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Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: The Allure of the Classical 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!