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Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture

Author: Peter Mitchell
Publication date: November 02 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521877824
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Product Description

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.
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