Classical Art From Greece to Rome (Oxford History of Art) Paperback – 26 Apr 2001
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"This is no conventional book on Classical Art, but a critique of Greek art through Roman eyes, analyzing the complexity of the Romans' reception of Greek pictorial and sculptural 'masterpieces, ' most of which are only known today through their Roman versions."--Richard Brilliant, Columbia University
"Innovative, challenging, and never dull, this is a bracing departure from the norm. Readers will welcome its strong thesis and trenchant refusal to take received wisdom on trust."--Andrew Stewart, University of California, Berkeley
About the Author
Mary Beard and John Henderson both teach Classics at the University of Cambridge. Mary Beard is a fellow of Newnham College, and John Henderson is a fellow of King's College, Cambridge.
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Top Customer Reviews
Another key theme is the importance of copying in the ancient world. A Roman workshop has been found with plaster casts of masterworks. Obviously there was big business in churning out copies of `greatest hits' for the villas of the empire. In the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum 51 bronze and 24 marble satues were found! Often we can find parallel statues where a similar pose of a figure from mythology is used, but each one has its variation on the theme. Because of this it's often impossible to tell whether we are dealing a faithful copy of an original work by Praxiteles for instance, or a Roman variation.
In a lot of ways we see the Greeks through Roman eyes. In fact experts often disagree on whether some works are Greek originals or Roman copies.
Other key topics explored are the ancient arts connections to power, status and sex.
The opening chapter on painting is particularly good. A Greek epigram on a painting by Timomachus of Medea shows how sophisticated the ancient response to art could be. Most of the chapter focuses on Pompeii as this is where most of the surviving painting comes from. But as a relatively insignificant provincial town, how typical were these works and would the best of them be as good works in Rome for instance?
Overall I highly recommend this thought provoking book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I already have another in the series and this is just as good. It provides a clear and concise summary and is excellent to either read from cover to cover, or to dip into from... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mrs S L Holland
Interesting book regarding the interpretation of Classical Art; good means of introduction to the subject.Published 24 months ago by Lorraine
A nice read. Although I feel that there are better and more detailed books to read on the subject this is a good starting point.Published 24 months ago by cameron thorp
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