Representation and Response
Author: Peter Stewart
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Statues are among the most familiar remnants of classical art. Yet their prominence in ancient society is often ignored. In the Roman world statues were ubiquitous. Whether they were displayed as public honours or memorials, collected as works of art, dedicated to deities, venerated as gods, or violated as symbols of a defeated political regime, they were recognized individually and collectively as objects of enormous significance. By analysing ancient texts and images, Statues in Roman Society unravels the web of associations which surrounded Roman statues. Addressing all categories of statuary together for the first time, it illuminates them in ancient terms, explaining expectations of what statues were or ought to be and describing the Romans' uneasy relationship with 'the other population' in their midst.
Author: Diana E. E. Kleiner
Roman sculpture was an integral part of Roman life, and the Romans placed statues and reliefs in their flora, basilicas, temples and public baths as well as in their houses, villas, gardens and tombs.
Author: Brian Madigan
This study examines the visual and textual evidence for free-standing images of gods which functioned ceremonially in order to determine the distinct formats, the defining characteristics, and in which ceremony or ceremonies each type functioned.
Author: Elise A. Friedland,Melanie Grunow Sobocinski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The study of Roman sculpture has been an essential part of the disciplines of Art History and Classics since the eighteenth century. Famous works like the Laoco?n, the Arch of Titus, and the colossal portrait of Constantine are familiar to millions. Again and again, scholars have returned to sculpture to answer questions about Roman art, society, and history. Indeed, the field of Roman sculptural studies encompasses not only the full chronological range of the Roman world but also its expansive geography, and a variety of artistic media, formats, sizes, and functions. Exciting new theories, methods, and approaches have transformed the specialized literature on the subject in recent decades. Rather than creating another chronological catalogue of representative examples from various periods, genres, and settings, The Oxford Handbook of Roman Sculpture synthesizes current best practices for studying this central medium of Roman art, situating it within the larger fields of Art History, Classical Archaeology, and Roman Studies. This comprehensive volume fills the gap between introductory textbooks and highly focused professional literature. The Oxford Handbook of Roman Sculpture conveniently presents new technical, scientific, literary, and theoretical approaches to the study of Roman sculpture in one reference volume while simultaneously complementing textbooks and other publications that present well-known works in the corpus. The contributors to this volume address metropolitan and provincial material from the early republican period through late antiquity in an engaging and fresh style. Authoritative, innovative, and up-to-date, The Oxford Handbook of Roman Sculpture will remain an invaluable resource for years to come.
Author: Peter Stewart
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The character of Roman art history has changed in recent years. More than ever before, it is concerned with the role of art in ancient society, including the functions that it served and the values and assumptions that it reflects. At the same time, images have become centrally important to the study of ancient history in general. This book offers a, critical introduction to Roman art against the background of these developments. Focusing on selected examples and themes, it sets the images in context, explains how they have been interpreted, and explodes some of the modern myths that surround them. It also explores some of the problems and contradictions that we face when we try to deal with ancient art in this manner. From wall-paintings to statues, from coins to the gravestones, this is a lucid and often provocative appraisal of the world of Roman images.
The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
Author: Catherine Nixey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A bold new history of the rise of Christianity, showing how its radical followers ravaged vast swathes of classical culture, plunging the world into an era of dogma and intellectual darkness “Searingly passionate…Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt…[A] ballista-bolt of a book.” —New York Times Book Review In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city’s greatest temple and razed it—smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria’s Great Library. Today, we refer to Christianity’s conquest of the West as a “triumph.” But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus’s followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. Just one percent of Latin literature would survive the purge; countless antiquities, artworks, and ancient traditions were lost forever. As Catherine Nixey reveals, evidence of early Christians’ campaign of terror has been hiding in plain sight: in the palimpsests and shattered statues proudly displayed in churches and museums the world over. In The Darkening Age, Nixey resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.
Author: Clemente Marconi
Publisher: Oxford Handbooks
This handbook explores key aspects of art and architecture in ancient Greece and Rome. Drawing on the perspectives of scholars of various generations, nationalities, and backgrounds, it discusses Greek and Roman ideas about art and architecture, as expressed in both texts and images, along with the production of art and architecture in the Greek and Roman world.
Author: Daniëlle Slootjes
This book presents new insights into the relationship between governors and provincial subjects in the Later Roman Empire. Discussion of provincial expectations and perception, the continuous dialogue, interdependence and reciprocity leads to a better understanding of Late Roman provincial administration.
Sculptures in Stone and Bronze in the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Author: Paul Zanker
Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Portrait sculptures are among the most vibrant records of ancient Greek and Roman culture. They represent people of all ages and social strata: revered poets and philosophers, emperors and their family members, military heroes, local dignitaries, ordinary citizens, and young children. The Met's distinguished collection of Greek and Roman portraits in stone and bronze is published in its entirety for the first time in this volume. Paul Zanker, a leading authority on Roman sculpture today, has brought his exceptional knowledge to the study of these portraits; in presenting them, he brings the ancient world to life for contemporary audiences. Each work is lavishly illustrated, meticulously described, and placed in its historical and cultural context. The lives and achievement of significant figures are discussed in the framework of the political, social, and practical circumstances that influenced their portrait's forms and styles—from the unvarnished realism of the late Republican period to the idealizing and progressively abstract tendencies that followed. Analyses of marble portraits recarved into new likenesses after their original subjects were forgotten or officially repudiated provide especially compelling insights. Observations on fashions in hairstyling, which typically originated with the Imperial family and spread as fast as the rulers' latest portraits could be distributed, not only edify and amuse but also link the Romans' motives and appetite for imitation to our own. More than a collection catalogue, Roman Portraits is a thorough and multifaceted survey of ancient portraiture. Charting the evolution of this art from its origins in ancient Greece, it renews our appreciation of an connection to these imposing, timeless works.
Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC - AD 300
Author: Christopher H. Hallett
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Nude statues of Roman emperors, generals, businessmen, and their wives survive from the ancient world in large numbers. This book explores the reasons why so many Romans chose to have themselves represented naked, and what this choice may tell us about Roman attitudes towards the self, the body, and personal identity.
Late Antique Responses and Practices
Author: Lea Stirling,Troels M Kristensen
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
For centuries, statuary décor was a main characteristic of any city, sanctuary, or villa in the Roman world. However, from the third century CE onward, the prevalence of statues across the Roman Empire declined dramatically. By the end of the sixth century, statues were no longer a defining characteristic of the imperial landscape. Further, changing religious practices cast pagan sculpture in a threatening light. Statuary production ceased, and extant statuary was either harvested for use in construction or abandoned in place. The Afterlife of Greek and Roman Sculpture is the first volume to approach systematically the antique destruction and reuse of statuary, investigating key responses to statuary across most regions of the Roman world. The volume opens with a discussion of the complexity of the archaeological record and a preliminary chronology of the fate of statues across both the eastern and western imperial landscape. Contributors to the volume address questions of definition, identification, and interpretation for particular treatments of statuary, including metal statuary and the systematic reuse of villa materials. They consider factors such as earthquake damage, late antique views on civic versus “private” uses of art, urban construction, and deeper causes underlying the end of the statuary habit, including a new explanation for the decline of imperial portraiture. The themes explored resonate with contemporary concerns related to urban decline, as evident in post-industrial cities, and the destruction of cultural heritage, such as in the Middle East.
Author: Glenys Davies
Analysis of the body language of statues of men and women as an indicator of gender relations in Roman society.
Author: Emily Hemelrijk,Greg Woolf
This multidisclinary collection of studies offers a compelling new vision of the role of women in Roman cities in Italy and the western provinces.
The Art of the Roman Empire AD 100-450
Author: Jaś Elsner
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Western culture saw some of the most significant and innovative developments take place during the passage from antiquity to the middle ages. This stimulating new book investigates the role of the visual arts as both reflections and agents of those changes. It tackles two inter-related periods of internal transformation within the Roman Empire: the phenomenon known as the 'Second Sophistic' (c. ad 100300)two centuries of self-conscious and enthusiastic hellenism, and the era of late antiquity (c. ad 250450) when the empire underwent a religious conversion to Christianity. Vases, murals, statues, and masonry are explored in relation to such issues as power, death, society, acculturation, and religion. By examining questions of reception, viewing, and the culture of spectacle alongside the more traditional art-historical themes of imperial patronage and stylistic change, Jas Elsner presents a fresh and challenging account of an extraordinarily rich cultural crucible in which many fundamental developments of later European art had their origins. 'a highly individual work . . . wonderful visual and comparative analysis . . . I can think of no other general book on Roman art that deals so elegantly and informatively with the theme of visuality and visual desire.' Professor Natalie Boymel Kampen, Barnard College, New York 'exciting and original . . . a vibrant impression of creative energy and innovation held in constant tension by the persistence of more traditional motifs and techniques. Elsner constantly surprises and intrigues the reader by approaching familiar material in new ways.' Professor Averil Cameron, Keble College, Oxford
Author: Jaś Elsner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The passage from Imperial Rome to the era of late antiquity, when the Roman Empire underwent a religious conversion to Christianity, saw some of the most significant and innovative developments in Western culture. This stimulating book investigates the role of the visual arts, the great diversity of paintings, statues, luxury arts, and masonry, as both reflections and agents of those changes. Jas' Elsner's ground-breaking account discusses both Roman and early Christian art in relation to such issues as power, death, society, acculturation, and religion. By examining questions of reception, viewing, and the culture of spectacle alongside the more traditional art-historical themes of imperial patronage and stylistic change, he presents a fresh and challenging interpretation of an extraordinarily rich cultural crucible in which many fundamental developments of later European art had their origins. This second edition includes a new discussion of the Eurasian context of Roman art, an updated bibliography, and new, full colour illustrations.
His Life and His Rome
Author: Franco Mormando
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Sculptor, architect, painter, playwright, and scenographer, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680) was the last of the great universal artistic geniuses of early modern Italy, placed by both contemporaries and posterity in the same exalted company as Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo. And his artistic vision remains palpably present today, through the countless statues, fountains, and buildings that transformed Rome into the Baroque theater that continues to enthrall tourists today. It is perhaps not surprising that this artist who defined the Baroque should have a personal life that itself was, well, baroque. As Franco Mormando’s dazzling biography reveals, Bernini was a man driven by many passions, possessed of an explosive temper and a hearty sex drive, and he lived a life as dramatic as any of his creations. Drawing on archival sources, letters, diaries, and—with a suitable skepticism—a hagiographic account written by Bernini’s son (who portrays his father as a paragon of virtue and piety), Mormando leads us through Bernini’s many feuds and love affairs, scandals and sins. He sets Bernini’s raucous life against a vivid backdrop of Baroque Rome, bustling and wealthy, and peopled by churchmen and bureaucrats, popes and politicians, schemes and secrets. The result is a seductively readable biography, stuffed with stories and teeming with life—as wild and unforgettable as Bernini’s art. No one who has been bewitched by the Baroque should miss it.
Author: Linda Farrar
A history of the development of Roman gardens from humble vegetable patches to the sophisticated formats seen at the height of the empire. Domestic, public, town and country gardens are covered, and archaeological research is used to illustrate the value of gardens to contemporary society.
Author: Roger B. Ulrich
Publisher: Yale University Press
Category: Literary Collections
This book presents an authoritative and detailed survey of the art of woodworking in the ancient Roman world. Illustrated with over 200 line drawings and photographs, Roman Woodworking covers topics such as the training and guild memberships of Roman carpenters, woodworking tools and techniques, the role of timber in construction and the availability of trees, and interior woodwork and furniture making. It also includes an extensive glossary of fully defined terms. This comprehensive book displays the accomplishment of the Roman woodworkers and their high skill and knowledge of materials and tools. Ulrich helps bring to light the importance of wooden projects and structures in Roman daily life and provides a wealth of information not only for classicists but also for those interested in the history of technology and the history of woodworking.
Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art
Author: Elizabeth Marlowe
Publisher: A&C Black
The recent crisis in the world of antiquities collecting has prompted scholars and the general public to pay more attention than ever before to the archaeological findspots and collecting histories of ancient artworks. This new scrutiny is applied to works currently on the market as well as to those acquired since (and despite) the 1970 UNESCO Convention, which aimed to prevent the trafficking in cultural property. When it comes to famous works that have been in major museums for many generations, however, the matter of their origins is rarely considered. Canonical pieces like the Barberini Togatus or the Fonseca bust of a Flavian lady appear in many scholarly studies and virtually every textbook on Roman art. But we have no more certainty about these works' archaeological contexts than we do about those that surface on the market today. This book argues that the current legal and ethical debates over looting, ownership and cultural property have distracted us from the epistemological problems inherent in all (ostensibly) ancient artworks lacking a known findspot, problems that should be of great concern to those who seek to understand the past through its material remains.