Chryselephantine Statuary in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2001 - Art - 242 pages
Composite statues of gold (chrysos), ivory (elephas), and other precious materials were the most celebrated artworks of classical antiquity. Greek and Latin authors leave no doubt that such images provided a centrepiece for religious and civic life and that vast sums were spent to producethem. A number of these statues were the creations of antiquity's most highly acclaimed artists: Polykleitos, Alkamenes, Leochares, and, of course, Pheidias, whose magnificent Zeus Olympios came to be ranked among the Seven Wonders of the World. Although a few individual images such as Pheidias'Athena Parthenos have been the subject of detailed scholarly analysis, chryselephantine statuary as a class, from the exquisite statuettes of Minoan Crete to the majestic temple images constructed by classical Greek city-states and imitated by the Romans, has not received comprehensive study since1815. This book presents not only the ancient literary and epigraphical evidence for lost statues and examines representations of them in other media, but also assembles and analyses much-neglected physical survivals, elucidating throughout the innovative techniques, such as ivory-bending, employedin their production as well as the variety of social, religious, and political roles they played within the ancient societies that produced them.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Materials and Techniques
7
Chryselephantine Statuary in the Bronze Age
22
c 1000500 bc
38
The Pheidian Revolution
61
In the Wake of Pheidias
96
Chryselephantine Statuary in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods
120
Conclusion
134
Select Testimonia
152
Appendices
193
References
200
Index of Ancient Passages
224
Handle of walking stick from the Tomb of Tutankhamun
243
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Assistant Professor of Art History, Boston University

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