New Approaches to Ancient Art

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MARE Expert Meeting -- New Approaches to Ancient Art
With the present workshop, we would like to build on the progress achieved in the past years towards a better evaluation of ancient art and the social relevance of artefacts, by focusing on the ontological properties of ancient images.
What qualities, for instance, did a statue have to lose in order for it to be reused as a construction block? When a work of art was moved from one display context (a Hellenistic palace, a Greek sanctuary or agora) to another (the collection galleries of a Roman aristocrat), what perceptual metamorphosis did it go through? How can we better understand the dynamic between visual and textual – epigraphic or literary sources; or is this ontological divide between art and text one created by scholars rather than experienced in the past? How do we integrate non-figural motives or ornaments into the study of ancient art? How did ancient viewers (emotionally) interact with works of art, and to what extent do we have to (and can we) take into account an image’s “ritual capital”? How was an image perceived across social strata, and how did the “visually illiterate” (inasmuch such a category can be postulated) approach such artefacts? How did the materiality and spatial setting of objects affect their potency?
As for patrons, was it all about social prestige, as it is commonly assumed, or were other motivations at play upon commissioning a (non-votive) image? In short, how did a work of art work, and why?
Event typeWorkshop
LocationGroningen , NetherlandsShow on map


  • Ancient Art