Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art (Google eBook)
The recent crisis in the world of antiquities collecting has prompted scholars and the general public to pay more attention than ever before to the archaeological findspots and collecting histories of ancient artworks. This new scrutiny is applied to works currently on the market as well as to those acquired since (and despite) the 1970 UNESCO Convention, which aimed to prevent the trafficking in cultural property. When it comes to famous works that have been in major museums for many generations, however, the matter of their origins is rarely considered. Canonical pieces like the Barberini Togatus or the Fonseca bust of a Flavian lady appear in many scholarly studies and virtually every textbook on Roman art. But we have no more certainty about these works' archaeological contexts than we do about those that surface on the market today. This book argues that the current legal and ethical debates over looting, ownership and cultural property have distracted us from the epistemological problems inherent in all (ostensibly) ancient artworks lacking a known findspot, problems that should be of great concern to those who seek to understand the past through its material remains.
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ancient artworks ancient context Antalya Antalya Museum Aphrodisias archaeological context argued art history art market artists attribution Barberini Togatus bronze Capitoline Museum carving catalog century Chapter collection connoisseur connoisseurship cultural depicting discussed displayed emperor ensemble epistemological Euphronios Euphronios krater evidence example excavations fact featured Fejfer Figure Fittschen Flavian Fonseca bust forgery freedmen Friedlšnder 1960 Fundilius funerary gallery Giuliani Greek grounded hairstyle historians historiography identified images imperial installation Julia Domna Kleiner krater late antique looting Louvre Marble portrait head Metropolitan Museum Mithraeum Mozia Munich Museum of Art Nostoi Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek ofthe original ownership history painted pair particular patrons Perge pieces portraiture Ramage recent recontextualization reliefs Rembrandt Renfrew repatriation Roman art Roman art history Roman portrait Rome Sala degli Imperatori scholarly scholars sculptures Septimius Severus Smith social art history soldier-emperor style stylistic surfaced tomb Trebonianus Gallus ungrounded antiquities ungrounded artworks ungrounded objects veristic Villa work’s Zanker