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Title: The originality of Roman sculpture
Authors: Bonanno, Anthony
Keywords: Sculpture, Roman
Art, Roman
Classical antiquities
Portrait sculpture, Classical -- History
Relief (Sculpture), Classical
Issue Date: 1989
Publisher: Upper Secondary School Valletta
Citation: Bonanno, A. (1989). The originality of Roman sculpture. Hyphen, 6(1), 8-22
Abstract: Originality in itself is an absolute quality; it is either there or not there. It can be present in some aspect, or aspects, and not in others. But its presence or absence can be determined only by relating the artifact which is supposed to contain it (be it a poem, a work of figurative art, a patented idea, or even a philosophical thought) with others preceding it in time. The prehistoric cave art of the Franco-Cantabrian region with which we are all familiar has no predecessor, at least according to the present state of our knowledge of Palaeolithic man and his art; therefore, it stands to reason that this art could not be other than original. There is nothing before it to compare it with. It is not so in the case of Roman art. Beside the art of the different prehistoric cultures, which it probably ignored, Roman art could benefit from the various artistic experiences of the pioneering civilizations of the Near East, most of all the Egyptian one, and to a much greater extent (because of its much closer contact with it, both in time and in space) from Greek art. So it is with the latter that the comparison has to be made to decide where, if anywhere, Roman art can lay a valid claim for originality.
Description: Public lecture given at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare, on 30 November 1987
Appears in Collections:Hyphen, Volume 6, No. 1 (1989)
Hyphen, Volume 6, No. 1 (1989)
Scholarly Works - FacArtCA

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