The Language of Images in Roman Art (Paperback)
  • The Language of Images in Roman Art (Paperback)

The Language of Images in Roman Art (Paperback)

(author), (translator), (translator), (foreword)
Paperback 188 Pages / Published: 18/11/2004
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This book, first published in 2004, develops a theory for the understanding of Roman pictorial art. By treating Roman art as a semantic system it establishes a connection between artistic forms and the ideological messages contained within. The history of Roman art traditionally followed the model of a sequence of stylistic phases affecting the works of their era in the manner of a uniform Zeitgeist. By contrast, the author shows different stylistic forms being used for different themes and messages. The reception of Greek models, a key phenomenon of Roman art, thus appear in a new light. The formulations of specific messages are established from Greek art types of different eras serving to express Roman ideological values: classical forms for the grandeur of the state, Hellenistic forms for the struggling effort of warfare. In this way a conceptual and comprehensible pictorial language arose, uniting the multicultural population of the Roman state.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521665698
Number of pages: 188
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 227 x 164 x 13 mm

'... a deeply thoughtful and illuminating explanation of how the Roman adoption of Greek forms and styles worked in terms of visual communication.' Art History
'Tonio Hoelscher's essay, The Language of Images in Roman Art ... [is] a lucid English translation ... [and] offers perhaps the most theoretically sophisticated answer to the old question of Rome's relationship to Greece. ... Hoelscher's essay was a landmark in the historiography of Roman art ... Tonio Hoelscher's interpretative framework has withstood the test of time. With the availability of his essay to a wider audience, this powerful tool can be applied to the full range of roman art's stylistic diversity.' The Times Literary Supplement
'... reaches to the heart of our understanding of Roman art, addressing its dependence upon and manipulation of Greek artistic forms. ... for a short work this book is full of insights, ideas, and provocations.' Journal of Roman Studies
"it provides rich material with which to think. While Holscher's structuralist methodology may seem limited today, he s till gives us much to ponder, question and debate, which is no small feat." CAA Reviews Lauren Hackworth Petersen
"The text is copiously illustrated with fifty-two generally clear plates and supported by a chronology of Greek art and artists, a glossary, bibliography, and index...teachers who include Greco-Roman art in discussion of Roman culture will probably find this work of great interest and of some classroom utility." - Robert I. Curtis, University of Georgia

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