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Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture
The Allure of the Classical

$107.00

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521877824

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • First scholarly analysis of a Classical Greek statue type, throughout all media and over time, addressing historical evolution and Roman adaptation for context rather than adherence to an original
    • Includes a re-evaluation of major monuments such as the Venus de Milo, Column of Trajan and Arch of Constantine
    • Covers major topics of contemporary interest, such as the transformation of Greek art in Rome, metropolitan art in the provinces, and pagan art in the newly Christian Roman Empire
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Kousser demonstrates how careful iconographic analysis of the material can be insightful and help us understand better the importance of sculpture in specific contexts.” – Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    “This book is an in-depth examination of a widespread visual motif in ancient art, most famously represented by the Capua Venus and the Victory of Brescia. Kousser presents many intelligent and thought-provoking interpretations of individual works.” – Classical Journal Online

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521877824
    • length: 226 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Creating the past: the origins of classicism in Hellenistic sculpture
    2. From Greece to Rome: retrospective sculpture in the early empire
    3. From metropolis to empire: retrospective sculpture in the high empire
    4. From Roman to Christian: retrospection and transformation in late antique art.

  • Author

    Rachel Meredith Kousser, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
    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.

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