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Greco-Scythian Art and the Birth of EurasiaFrom Classical Antiquity to Russian Modernity$
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Caspar Meyer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199682331.001.0001

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Looking at Greco-Scythian Art

Looking at Greco-Scythian Art

(p.189) Five Looking at Greco-Scythian Art
Greco-Scythian Art and the Birth of Eurasia

Caspar Meyer

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the figured scenes in Greco-Scythian art relayed notions of elite virtue and how the objects guided and gave meaning to real-life activities. It attempts to reconcile iconographic and agency-based approaches to Greco-Scythian art in order to analyse the notion that Greek nudity in art was anchored in the Greeks' supposedly untroubled attitude to nakedness in life. It looks at a number of examples of draped nudes to highlight the profound differences in culture and life-ways separating the different producers and consumers of Greco-Scythian metalwork. It also considers how Greco-Scythian art could relate to its ancient viewers regardless of their ability to associate images with prior stories or texts. Finally, the chapter discusses Greco-Scythian genre scenes that characterise Scythians as civilised barbarians capable of forming strong associations through verbal agreement.

Keywords:   elite, virtue, Greco-Scythian art, nudity in art, metalwork, images, texts, Scythians, civilised barbarians

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