Supports in Roman Marble Sculpture: Workshop Practice and Modes of Viewing [Hardback]

Anna Anguissola (Author)

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ISBN: 9781108418430 | Published by: Cambridge University Press | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 68 b/w illus.

Supports in Roman Marble Sculpture: Workshop Practice and Modes of Viewing


Figural and non-figural supports are a ubiquitous feature of Roman marble sculpture; they appear in sculptures ranging in size from miniature to colossal and of all levels of quality. At odds with modern ideas about beauty, completeness, and visual congruence, these elements, especially non-figural struts, have been dismissed by scholars as mere safeguards for production and transport. However, close examination of these features reveals the tastes and expectations of those who commissioned, bought, and displayed marble sculptures throughout the Mediterranean in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Drawing on a large body of examples, Greek and Latin literary sources, and modern theories of visual culture, this study constitutes the first comprehensive investigation of non-figural supports in Roman sculpture. The book overturns previous conceptions of Roman visual values and traditions and challenges our understanding of the Roman reception of Greek art.

Table of Contents

Part I. Material and history: 1. Narrative and individuality; 2. Supports and Greek marble sculpture; 3. The world of struts; 4. Surface and colour; Part II. The Limits of Stone: 5. The quest for solidity; 6. Statuesque statues; 7. Value and ingenuity; 8. Carving and tradition.

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