Painting, Ethics, and Aesthetics in Rome

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 24, 2019 - Art - 291 pages
In the first centuries BCE and CE, Roman wall painters frequently placed representations of works of art, especially panel paintings, within their own mural compositions. Nathaniel B. Jones argues that the depiction of panel painting within mural ensembles functioned as a meta-pictorial reflection on the practice and status of painting itself. This phenomenon provides crucial visual evidence for both the reception of Greek culture and the interconnected ethical and aesthetic values of art in the Roman world. Roman meta-pictures, this book reveals, not only navigated social debates on the production and consumption of art, but also created space on the Roman wall for new modes of expression relating to pictorial genres, the role of medium in artistic practice, and the history of painting. Richly illustrated, the volume will be important for anyone interested in the social, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of artworks, in the ancient Mediterranean and beyond.


DisruptingtheFrame 47
The Ethics and Politics of Art 93
Medium and Materiality on

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About the author (2019)

Nathaniel B. Jones is Assistant Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in St Louis. His research interests include painting, collecting practices, and art-historical thought in Greco-Roman antiquity. He earned a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University in 2013. His research, which centers on the artistic and visual culture of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, has been supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC, and the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. He has published on topics such as the representation of the dead in Classical Greek vase painting and the collection and display of art in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds, and the interrelationship of space and time in Roman narrative images.

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