“No other book currently exists that so systematically attempts to unite evidence from art and poetry to construct a Hellenistic ‘mode of viewing.’ The originality of the work lies in the way it brings together material that is usually discussed in isolation.”Alexander Sens, Georgetown University
Modes of Viewing in Hellenistic Poetry and Artby Graham Zanker
Taking a fresh look at the poetry and visual art of the Hellenistic age, from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to the Romans' defeat of Cleopatra in 30 B.C., Graham Zanker makes enlightening discoveries about the assumptions and conventions of Hellenistic poets and artists and their audiences. The author poses and responds to a number of questions: How did Hellenistic Greeks look at visual art? How did they envision the imagery they read in poetry? What were the modes of viewing common to both these forms? When did artists and poets provide rich visual detail, and when did they expect their audiences to mentally "fill in" details by recourse to shared experience or cultural knowledge? Zanker's exciting new interpretations closely compare poetry and art for the light each sheds on the other. He finds, for example, an exuberant expansion of subject matter in the Hellenistic periods in both literature and art, as styles and iconographic traditions reserved for grander themes in earlier eras were applied to themes, motifs, and subjects that were emphatically less grand.
Meet the Author
Graham Zanker is professor of Classics at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He is the author of The Heart of Achilles and Realism in Alexandrian Poetry.
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