Cover image for Greek art
Greek art
Fullerton, Mark D.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
176 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 24 cm
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N5630 .F85 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Since antiquity, the period from 480 to 323 BC in Greece has been considered to be the high point, the Classical era, of Hellenic culture. At that time, the values and customs of ancient Greece received an especially lucid expression in the visual arts. In this new overview, the political, social, and religious functions of Greek art are given fresh life, with chapters focusing on issues such as the relationship between visual narrative and history; the role of artistic style in the construction of meaning; and how personal and communal identity was carried by the imagery on intricately decorated pottery and jewelry, naturalistic wall-paintings, and public buildings across the Greek world. Using the Parthenon as a paradigm monument, Mark Fullerton examines the principles of classical sculpture, architecture, and painting to explore all phases of Greek art from its birth around 900 BC to its incorporation into the art of the Roman Empire. Combining the latest archaeological discoveries with new scholarly methods, Fullerton presents a history of Greek art and the idea of the classical through a range of media and materials, including Archaic statues from the Aegean islands, the gold and ivory of Macedonia, to the great Hellenistic monuments of the Greek east. Mark D. Fullerton is Professor and Chairperson in the Department of History of Art at the Ohio State University. His research centers on Roman, Greek, and Hellenistic sculpture and he has published work on Roman art.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Fullerton's desire to use "the Parthenon as a paradigm monument" undercuts his book's title as he advances the thesis that Greek classical art is coterminous with Athens in the Periklean Age. The formative role of Athenian works in the constitution of the classical is undeniable, if one also recognizes the role of artists and artworks outside of Athens in the fourth century in establishing the canon. The concept of the classical, with its elevated aesthetic and moral character, is a critical construct of the savants of Alexandria and Pergamon, of the pro-Hellenic Greek author in the Roman Empire (e.g., Plutarch), and of the tendentious art history of Winckelmann in the 18th century. Fullerton (Ohio State Univ.) fixes on the generation of classicism as a noble ideal in Greek and post-Greek visual culture and on the symbolic worth of its established imagery, imparting a greater nobility to the artworks of another time and place. Yet, frequent chronological inversions that set out the precedential elements in preclassical art repeatedly interrupt the narrative flow and limit the book's usefulness as a basic work; so, too, do the conventional illustrations and the near absence of ancient texts that express contemporary attitudes to these allegedly normative artistic productions. General readers; upper-division undergraduates. R. Brilliant; Columbia University

Table of Contents

Introduction: concepts of the classical
1 Art and the polis
2 Greeks and others
3 Myth, history, and narrative