Greek Sculpture and the Problem of Description

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9780521840842: Greek Sculpture and the Problem of Description

When interpreting Greek statues, scholars have emphasised the importance of separating objective evaluation of evidence from interpretation, but in practice it has proved difficult to draw this distinction. This study examines the scholarship on a select number of well-known Greek statues from the eighteenth century through the present.

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'... published and illustrated to Cambridge University Press's usual high standard ... Dr Donohue does a service in refreshing our approach to ancient sculpture ...' Art Newspaper

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This book explores the role of description in the interpretation of ancient Greek statuary. Although scholars have emphasised the importance of separating objective evaluation of evidence from interpretation, in practice it has proved difficult to draw this distinction. Even at the level of observation and vocabulary, the scholarship on Greek sculpture has been moulded by concepts and convictions that impose particular interpretations on the material. This study examines the scholarship on a select number of well-known Greek statues from the eighteenth century through the present. The impact of the historical, cultural and intellectual contexts that produced this specialised scholarship is demonstrated through considerations of issues such as ethnicity, psychology, theories about artistic form, and evolving conceptions of nude and clothed figures.

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