cover of book

Fabricating the Antique: Neoclassicism in Britain, 1760-1800
by Viccy Coltman
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-226-11396-8
Library of Congress Classification N6766.5.N4C65 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 709.4109033

Between 1760 and 1800, British aristocrats became preoccupied with the acquisition of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. From marble busts to intricately painted vases, these antiquities were amassed in vast collections held in country houses and libraries throughout Britain. In Fabricating the Antique, Viccy Coltman examines these objects and their owners, as well as dealers, restorers, designers, and manufacturers. She provides a close look at the classical revival that resulted in this obsession with collecting antiques.

Looking at the theoretical foundations of neoclassicism, Coltman contends this reinvention of ancient material culture was more than a fabrication of style. Based in the strong emphasis on classical education during this time, neoclassicism, Coltman claims, could be more accurately described as a style of thought translated into material possessions. Fabricating the Antique is a new take on both well-known collections of ancient art and newly cataloged artifacts. This book also covers how these objects—once removed from their original context—were received, preserved, and displayed. Art historians, classicists, and archaeologists alike will benefit from this important examination of British eighteenth-century history.

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