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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter deals with the issue of imitation of Greek artworks and styles in the Roman world. The questions that the corpus of copies and other retrospective artworks raise and that the present chapter aims to address revolve around the thorny issue of originality in Roman visual culture and relate to intertwined cultural, functional, and technological factors. To this purpose, a brief history of the topic is sketched, from the earliest remarks on Roman copies in the early eighteenth century to the most up-to-date avenues of investigation. Selected replica series from both Greek classical sculptures (the athletes by Polykleitos and Myron) and Roman “classicizing” invention (such as the so-called Stephanos Athlete) are discussed, as is the interaction between classical bodies and individuated heads in the sphere of portraiture. Origin, chronology, material, and technology are suggested as instruments for the study of this particular category of sculptures.

Keywords: copies, replicas, imitation, tradition, emulation, Neo-Atticism, classicism, eclecticism, idealplastik

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