Summary and Info
Taking a fresh look at the poetry and visual art of the Hellenistic age, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.) to the Romans' defeat of Cleopatra (30 B.C.), Graham Zanker makes enlightening discoveries about the assumptions and conventions of Hellenistic poets and artists and their audiences. Zanker 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 offers exciting new interpretations by closely comparing 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.
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