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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

F. B. Tarbell, A History of Ancient Greek Art

Greek Sculpture - General considerations

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Secondly, we have several hundreds of original inscriptions belonging to Greek works of sculpture and containing the names of the artists who made them. It was a common practice, in the case especially of independent statues in the round, for the sculptor to attach his signature, generally to the pedestal. Unfortunately, while great numbers of these inscribed pedestals have been preserved for us, it is very rarely that we have the statues which once belonged on them. Moreover, the artists' names which we meet on the pedestals are in a large proportion of cases names not even mentioned by our literary sources. In fact, there is only one indisputable case where we possess both a statue and the pedestal belonging to it, the latter inscribed with the name of an artist known to us from literary tradition.

Thirdly, we have the actual remains of Greek sculpture, a constantly accumulating store, yet only an insignificant remnant of what once existed. These works have suffered sad disfigurement. Not one life-sized figure has reached us absolutely intact; but few have escaped serious mutilation. Most of those found before the beginning of this century, and some of those found since, have been subjected to a process known as "restoration." Missing parts have been supplied, often in the most arbitrary and tasteless manner, and injured surfaces, e. g., of faces, have been polished, with irreparable damage as the result.


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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

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