The Learned Collector
Mythological Statuettes and Classical Taste in Late Antique Gaul
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Michigan Press
The present book has been a long time in the making, from nascent ideas in classes with Jeremy Rossiter and Thelma Thomas, through its original recension as my 1994 doctoral dissertation (University of Michigan), to the much-expanded present format. I extend...
List of Figures
Vivid descriptions of two diametrically opposed responses to mythological statuary in Gaul from the later decades of the fourth century have come down to us through accounts of Ausonius of Bordeaux and St. Martin of Tours. Though contemporaries, the two men had different educational backgrounds and personify contrasting...
2. Findspots, Functions, and the Burden of Proof: Some Questions of Methodology
Before addressing the statuary assemblages of villas in Gaul (chap. 3) and other Roman provinces (chap. 6), it is necessary to consider some basic issues of methodology and interpretation.1 Statuary found in a late antique house under the Via Giovanni Lanza in Rome perhaps epitomizes the most straightforward...
3. Late Antique Villas in Southwest Gaul and Their Sculptural Collections
The three most famous sculptural collections of late antique Gaul come from the villas of Saint-Georges-de-Montagne, Chiragan, and Montmaurin. Though each of these sites had multiple mythological statuettes of late antique date, none of the assemblages is without some difficulties for the reconstruction of an ancient...
4. Issues of Style, Chronology, and Origins
“The execution of this statuette is quite faulty,” wrote Theodore Amtmann of the Venus of Saint-Georges-de-Montagne (fig. 7). He explained, “the neck is overly long, the head out of proportion, the arms stiff, the legs swollen: in a word, all the characteristics of the late empire.”1 While Amtmann clearly viewed these characteristics...
5. Paideia and the World of Ausonius of Bordeaux: The Social Environment of Late Mythological Statuary
The issues of iconography, display, style, and transport previously examined lead to the crucial question of taste: why did late mythological statuettes carry such appeal for Aquitanian landowners? The classical education system, known as paideia in the eastern empire, is the key to understanding this taste. We are fortunate...
6. Learned Collectors across the Empire
Late antique interest in domestic statuary was by no means limited to Gaul, as the international distribution of late mythological statuettes already suggests. Surveying statuary assemblages from villas and houses across the empire provides important evidence for identifying regional characteristics in Gallic collections and assessing...
7. Statuary, Paideia, and Collecting: Conclusions
Statuary found in Gaul has provided the core material for fresh analysis of three important topics for the study of late antiquity: late mythological statuettes, classical education, and private collecting of sculpture. The first topic has not previously received a dedicated study of this length, the second topic has been little investigated in...
Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2005
OCLC Number: 613205641
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Learned Collector