The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso

The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso

Paperback New Directions in Classics

By (author) Elizabeth Prettejohn


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  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 234mm x 26mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 15 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848859031
  • ISBN 13: 9781848859036
  • Illustrations note: 51 bw integrated illustrations
  • Sales rank: 502,926

Product description

What can modern art have to do with ancient sculpture? Surely the excitement of modern art lies in its utter repudiation of classical example? Elizabeth Prettejohn's important and revisionist new book argues otherwise: that ancient sculpture and modern art have been in constant dialogue since Johann Joachim Winckelmann invented the modern discipline of art history. It shows how ancient sculptures could inspire artists such as Rodin, Leighton or Picasso, and how modern artworks could help to interpret sculptors such as Pheidias and Praxiteles. The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture will have strong appeal to students of modern art and the classics alike.

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Author information

Elizabeth Prettejohn formerly Professor of History of Art at the University of Bristol, is now Professor of History of Art at the University of York. Her books include The Art of the Pre- Raphaelites (2000), Beauty and Art 1750-2000 (2005) and Art for Art's Sake: Aestheticism in Victorian Painting (2007). She has co-curated major International exhibitions on Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1996-97), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2003-04) and John William Waterhouse (2008-10).

Review quote

Never less than persuasive, in the subtlety and accessibility of its visual or verbal analyses, the book includes revelatory ideas on almost every page.' - Jason Edwards, Reader in the History of Art, University of York 'This is a wonderful book. It commands, with enviable ease, both ancient and modern data, and moves seamlessly and to excellent effect between evocative description and theoretical criticism. This is a book which any graduate student starting to work on ancient art will in future have to read. It is fundamentally enlightening about the way in which sculpture has been studied - and about what it is to study sculpture. It is certainly a book that the exhibition-going public and the serious visitor to the British Museum (or indeed to English country houses with classical sculpture collections) ought to read as well. It manages to be repeatedly eye-opening.' - Robin Osborne, Professor of Ancient History, University of Cambridge

Table of contents

CONTENTS List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgements xv Introduction 1 1. The Discovery of Greek Sculpture 38 2. The Artist, Ancient and Modern 104 3. Modernism 171 Notes 257 Selected Bibliography 287 Index 291