The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC - AD 300 by Christopher H. HallettThe Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC - AD 300 by Christopher H. Hallett

The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC - AD 300

byChristopher H. Hallett

Paperback | February 20, 2011

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Statues of important Romans frequently represented them nude. Men were portrayed naked holding weapons. The naked emperor might wield the thunderbolt of Jupiter, while Roman women assumed the guide of the nude love-goddess, Venus. When faced with these strange images, modern viewers areusually unsympathetic, finding them incongruous, even tasteless. They are mostly written off as just another example of Roman `bad taste'. This book offers a new approach. Comprehensively illustrated with black and white photographs of its subjects, it investigates how this tradition arose, and how the nudity of these portraits was meant to be understood by contemporary viewers. And, since the Romans also employed a range of costumesfor their statues (toga, armour, Greek philosopher's cloak), it asks, `What could the nude images express that other costumes could not?' It is Christopher Hallett's claim that - looked at in this way - these `Roman nudes' turn out to be documents of the first importance for the culturalhistorian.
Christopher H. Hallett is Associate Professor of History of Art and Classics at the University of California at Berkeley.
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Title:The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC - AD 300Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pagesPublished:February 20, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019959970X

ISBN - 13:9780199599707

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Table of Contents

1. The Greek background2. The nude portrait in Greek art3. Attitudes towards nudity at Rome4. The Roman adoption of the nude portrait5. The nude portrait under the Empire6. The nudity of the gods7. Understanding the Roman nude