Modes of Viewing in Hellenistic Poetry and Art

Modes of Viewing in Hellenistic Poetry and Art

by Graham Zanker


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Modes of Viewing in Hellenistic Poetry and Art by 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299194543
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 12/13/2007
Series: Wisconsin Studies in Classics Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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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