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Evading Greek models: Three studies on Roman visual culture
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. (Forskarskolan i estetiska vetenskaper)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2412-5735
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For a long time, Roman ideal sculptures have primarily been studied within the tradition of Kopienkritik. Owing to some of the theoretical assumptions tied to this practice, several important aspects of Roman visual culture have been neglected as the overall aim of such research has been to gain new knowledge regarding assumed Classical and Hellenistic models. This thesis is a collection of three studies on Roman ideal sculpture. The articles share three general aims: 1. To show that the practice of Kopienkritik has, so far, not produced convincing interpretations of the sculpture types and motifs discussed. 2. To show that aspects of the methodology tied to the practice of Kopienkritik (thorough examination and comparison of physical forms in sculptures) can, and should, be used to gain insights other than those concerning hypothetical Classical and Hellenistic model images. 3. To present new interpretations of the sculpture types and motifs studied, interpretations which emphasize their role and importance within Roman visual culture.

The first article shows that reputed, post-Antique restorations may have an unexpected—and unwanted—impact on the study of ancient sculptures. This is examined by tracing the impact that a restored motif ("Satyrs with cymbals") has had on the study of an ancient sculpture type: the satyr ascribed to the two-figure group "The invitation to the dance". The second article presents and interprets a sculpture type which had previously gone unnoticed—The satyrs of "The Palazzo Massimo-type". The type is interpreted as a variant of "The Marsyas in the forum", a motif that was well known within the Roman cultural context. The third article examines how, and why, two motifs known from Classical models were changed in an eclectic fashion once they had been incorporated into Roman visual culture. The motifs concerned are kalathiskos dancers, which were transformed into Victoriae, and pyrrhic dancers, which were also reinterpreted as mythological figures—the curetes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University , 2012. , 39 p.
Keyword [en]
Kopienkritik, Copy criticism, Emulation, Classical reception studies, Roman visual culture, Roman ideal sculpture, Neo-Attic reliefs
National Category
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Research subject
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79421ISBN: 978-91-7447-557-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79421DiVA: diva2:548900
Public defence
2012-10-16, hörsal 6, hus C, Universitetsvägen 10 C, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Accepted. Paper 3: Accepted.

Available from: 2012-09-24 Created: 2012-09-02 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The impact of restoration: The example of the dancing satyr in the Uffizi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of restoration: The example of the dancing satyr in the Uffizi
2012 (English)In: Opuscula: Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome, ISSN 2000-0898, Vol. 5, 133-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to show that reputed restorations may have an unexpected impact on the study of ancient sculpture. During the 17th-19th centuries a number of restored antiques where held in exceptionally high regard. One of the consequences of their renowned was the production of copies and adaptations in different scales and media. Such reproductions did not distinguish between the ancient and the restored parts of the work.

Today these reproductions are centuries old, and in many cases their provenance has long since been forgotten. Therefore, such post-antique sculptures are easily misinterpreted as ancient. Subsequently, they are at times used as evidence of ancient sculptural production. Needless to say, this may cause flawed notions of Classical sculpture.

The complexity of this relationship, between the ancient and the restored, is here exemplified by tracing the impact that a restored motif – “satyrs with cymbals” – has had on the study of an ancient sculpture type – the satyr attributed to “The invitation to the dance”.

Keyword
Kopienkritik, Copy criticism, Roman visual culture, Roman ideal sculpture, Classical reception studies, The invitation to the dance
National Category
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Research subject
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78708 (URN)
Available from: 2012-08-07 Created: 2012-08-07 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Marsyas in the garden?: Small-scale sculptures referring to the Marsyas in the forum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Marsyas in the garden?: Small-scale sculptures referring to the Marsyas in the forum
2010 (English)In: Opuscula: Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome, ISSN 2000-0898, Vol. 3, 163-178 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While studying a small-scale sculpture in the collections of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, I noticed that it belongs to a previously unrecognized sculpture type. The type depicts a paunchy, bearded satyr who stands with one arm raised. To my knowledge, four replicas exist. By means of stylistic comparison, they can be dated to the late second to early third centuries AD. Due to their scale and rendering they are likely to have been freestanding decorative elements in Roman villas or gardens.

The iconography of the satyrs of the type discussed is closely related to that of a group of fountain figures. These fountain figures are believed to refer to a motif well known in Roman times: the Marsyas in the forum. In this article I argue that the satyrs of the type discussed refer as well to this once famous depiction of Marsyas.

Keyword
Kopienkritik, Copy criticism, Roman visual culture, Roman ideal sculpture, Marsyas in the forum
National Category
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Research subject
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40257 (URN)
Available from: 2010-06-09 Created: 2010-06-09 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Dancing with decorum: The eclectic usage of kalathiskos dancers and pyrrhic dancers in Roman visual culture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dancing with decorum: The eclectic usage of kalathiskos dancers and pyrrhic dancers in Roman visual culture
2012 (English)In: Opuscula: Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome, ISSN 2000-0898, Vol. 5, 7-47 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines two groups of motifs in Roman visual culture: females modelled on kalathiskos dancers, and males modelled on pyrrhic dancers. Eclecticism is emphasized as a strategy which was used to introduce novelties that were appropriate within a Roman cultural context. The figures representing kalathiskos dancers and pyrrhic dancers were both changed in an eclectic manner and this resulted in motifs representing the goddess Victoria, and the curetes respectively.

Kalathiskos dancers and eclectic Victoriae figure on many different media at least from the Augustan era and into the 2nd century AD. It is argued here that the establishment of these two motifs in Roman visual culture is closely related to the aesthetics which came to the fore during the reign of Augustus. Thereafter, both kalathiskos dancers and eclectic Victoriae lingered on in the Roman cultural context until many of the material categories on which they were depicted ceased to be produced.

Unlike the kalathiskos dancers, the male figures modelled on pyrrhic dancers are so rare within Roman visual culture that we can only assume they were, to some extent, perceived as an inappropriate motif. This can most likely be explained by the negative attitude, amongst the Roman elite, towards male dancing.

Keyword
Kopienkritik, Copy criticism, Emulation, Decorum, Eclecticism, Roman visual culture, Neo Attic reliefs
National Category
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Research subject
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78712 (URN)
Available from: 2012-08-07 Created: 2012-08-07 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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