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Statues and CitiesHonorific Portraits and Civic Identity in the Hellenistic World$
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John Ma

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199668915.001.0001

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Making an Honorific Portrait

Making an Honorific Portrait

Chapter:
(p.243) Seven Making an Honorific Portrait
Source:
Statues and Cities
Author(s):

John Ma

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199668915.003.0008

This chapter examines how honorific statues and portraits were made in the Hellenistic period, both by political and by artistic processes. More specifically, it considers the commissioning, control, and financing of a bronze statue, as well as the very complex sequence of making it. It also looks at the ‘art worlds’ involved in the honorific statue transaction which, in practice, was a local, communitarian art happening. In short, the honorific monument was the artefact of a particular political culture. The chapter highlights the (relative) affordability of honorific portraits, along with the bespoke nature of the processes involved in making them. An appendix presenting evidence for the economics underlying the statue-making processes is included.

Keywords:   honorific statues, Hellenistic period, commissioning, financing, art worlds, communitarian art, political culture, honorific portraits, economics

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