In response to the variety of essays in this volume, this paper invokes Benedetto Croce's model of chronicle as a form of "presentist" empty history to interrogate some aspects of the mythologies and ideologies implied by the return to values in the discussion of Greek art. The history of the positing of such values has been both rich and fraught in the twentieth century—especially in the study of Greek art—since it takes in not only racial idealizations that turned nasty when German scholarship was inflected by Nazism, but also the complex post World War II dynamics of purging "Art" of the negative associations foisted upon it in the crisis of humanism between the years 1933 and 1945. The wealth and range of the positions taken by the contributors to this collection is testimony both to the vibrancy of contemporary appropriations of the idea of art in antiquity and to the force of modern reactions against some of the limitations of postwar scholarship. But it also operates within (and demonstrates the viability of) a deep history reaching back at least as far as Winckelmann.


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pp. 289-307
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