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The ancient Greeks developed their own very specific ethos of art appreciation, advocating a rational involvement with art. This book explores why the ancient Greeks started to write art history and how the writing of art history transformed the social functions of art in the Greek world. It looks at the invention of the genre of portraiture and the social uses to which portraits were put in the city state. Later chapters explore how artists sought to enhance their status by writing theoretical treatises and producing works of art intended for purely aesthetic contemplation, which ultimately gave rise to the writing of art history and to the development of art collecting. The study, which is illustrated throughout and draws on contemporary perspectives in the sociology of art, will prompt the student of classical art to rethink fundamental assumptions about Greek art and its cultural and social implications.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521846141
ISBN-10: 0521846145
Format: Hardback
(247mm x 174mm x 21mm)
Pages: 348
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 23-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jeremy Tanner

Jeremy Tanner is Lecturer in Greek and Roman Art at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is the author of The Sociology of Art: A Reader (2003).

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