ABOUT THIS BOOK
The second century B.C. is one of the most prolific periods in the production of Greek and Hellenistic art, but it is a period extremely vexing to scholars. Very few of the works traditionally cited as examples of this century's art can be dated with certainty, and those that plausibly belong to it reflect no obvious general trends in function, iconography, or style. In Hellenistic Sculpture II: The Styles of ca. 200-100 B.C.
, the second of Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway's three volumes on Hellenistic sculpture, she takes on the challenge of interpreting and dating the art of this complex and lively century.
During this period, artistic production was stimulated by the encounter between Greece and Rome and fueled by the desire of the kings of Pergamon to emulate the past glories of fifth-century Athens. Statuary in relief and in the round, often at monumental scale, was created in a variety of styles. Ridgway attempts to determine what can be securely considered to have been produced during the second century B.C. In the course of her exploration, she critically scrutinizes most of the best-known pieces of Greek sculpture, ultimately revealing a tentative but plausible picture of the artistic trends of 200–100 B.C.