The Herculaneum Women and the Origins of Archaeology

Overview


About 1710, three life-size marble statues of women were found near Portici on the Bay of Naples. This discovery led to further exploration of the site, which was soon identified as the ancient city of Herculaneum, one of the towns buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. The statues became famous throughout Europe as the "Herculaneum Women." First brought to Vienna, they have been in the Antiquities Collection in Dresden since 1736.
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Overview


About 1710, three life-size marble statues of women were found near Portici on the Bay of Naples. This discovery led to further exploration of the site, which was soon identified as the ancient city of Herculaneum, one of the towns buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. The statues became famous throughout Europe as the "Herculaneum Women." First brought to Vienna, they have been in the Antiquities Collection in Dresden since 1736.
This book presents for the first time in any language the comprehensive story of these famous statues, including their discovery, archaeological context, art history, interpretation, (an ongoing debate), and the impact of the Greek statuary types on representations of Roman women throughout the Mediterranean. No other models of the draped female body were used more often in Roman sculpture to carry individual portraits, including those of empresses, than the Large and Small Herculaneum Women.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An almost revolutionary catalogue, one that could—might we hope?—set a new trend in museum publications.”—American Journal of Archaeology 

“A thorough contextualization of the Dresden sculptures.”—New England Classical Journal

“This book was designed to celebrate the display of the three Herculaneum Women at the Getty in 2007, where they holidayed while their own home, the Albertinum at Dresden, was being renovated. The beautifully illustrated volume takes the opportunity of this sojourn, and their spruce up by the conservators, to bring together their histories both as artefacts and types. . . . [It] should be read as a well-written and informed souvenir of their holiday.”—Journal of Roman Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jens Daehner is assistant curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum; Kordelia Knoll is curator of the sculpture collection at the State Art Collections, Dresden; Christiane Vorster is professor at the Institute of Classical Archaeology, University of Bonn; and Moritz Woelk is director of the sculpture collection at the State Art Collections, Dresden.

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