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Classical Art: From Greece to Rome

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The stunning masterpieces of Ancient Greece and Rome are fundamental to the story of art in Western culture and to the origins of art history. The expanding Greek world of Alexander the Great had an enormous impact on the Mediterranean superpower of Rome. Generals, rulers, and artists seized, imitated, and re-thought the stunning legacy of Greek painting and sculpture, cul...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published July 19th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA
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This book of Art History is too much art and too little history. It glosses over history (you won't learn more than 'we have no idea where this statue comes from, nor from what time it came, nor how it got here, nor whether it's original, nor who it's supposed to be'), and doesn't get any further than the interpretations of the classical art made since the Renaissance. Although it is useful to realize how much of the art we see is a 16th or 17th century reconstruction and how our own views may i...more
This is a really interesting introduction to the main themes surrounding the Romanisation of Classical Greek art. I especially liked that it started with the wall paintings mostly found in Pompeii as painting was often praised in contemporary texts but we have very little left today. There were also a lot of maps in the back that helped place where everything was going on.
Got this for my kindle which made it almost entirely incomprehensible. Despite this, what I did glean was really interesting and I intend to spend Christmas money on the hardback version so that I can keep it by my side.
Beard and Henderson scrutinize the certainties of our knowledge in the Ancient Art and show that what our raw material is in fact a construction of our fantasies...
Really gorgeous photo's and a pleasure to read. I came to it as a new-comer to the classical world but I think the confirmed enthusiast would also enjoy this work.
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See also: Mary Ritter Beard (1876-1958).

Winifred Mary Beard (born 1 January 1955) is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and is a fellow of Newnham College. She is the Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and author of the blog "A Don's Life", which appears on The Times as a regular column. Her frequent media appearances and sometimes controversial public statements h...more
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