The Villa Dei Papiri at Herculaneum

The Villa Dei Papiri at Herculaneum

by Carol Mattusch
     
 

The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum-buried during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, then rediscovered in 1750-contained a large collection of bronze and marble statuary and busts. Before they were published or exhibited, the sculptures were restored so as to appear whole: it is thus that they helped to shape early modern tastes in classical sculpture.

Overview

The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum-buried during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, then rediscovered in 1750-contained a large collection of bronze and marble statuary and busts. Before they were published or exhibited, the sculptures were restored so as to appear whole: it is thus that they helped to shape early modern tastes in classical sculpture.
The book describes the nature of the ancient sculptures and their impact on the modern public. Their chance discovery affected the interpretation of the statues-their styles and subjects-over the course of the next 250 years. The ancient sculptures were copied extensively in reproductions of various sizes and patinas. The author traces the popularity of these copies in Europe and America.
Also presented in the book is a technical study of the production techniques and materials of the sculptures, as well as of their modern restoration history. Scientific analyses and detailed photographs reveal both how the pieces were cast and pieced together in antiquity and how they were restored in the eighteenth century. Even though this collection has been known for two and a half centuries, this book covers for the first time the eclectic nature of the sculptures, their acutual condition, and their quality, pointing in some cases to mass production.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 "Mattusch has done a great service in writing this book. She has taken a look at a well-known group of sculptures and examined them with a practiced eye and with the help of a great deal of technical expertise. The result is an entirely new insight into their production and manufacture, and the correction of many earlier misapprehensions about them."—Ancient East and West

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892367221
Publisher:
Getty Publications
Publication date:
01/01/2005
Series:
Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Carol C. Mattusch is Mathy Professor of Art History at George Mason University in Virginia.

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