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The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome: The Caged Bird and Other Art Forms (Hardback)

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces > Roman Art & Architecture

Imprint: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781472526120
Published: 30th June 2016
Casemate UK Academic

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The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome explores what art was and what it meant for the ancient Romans, examining the boundaries between art objects and material culture and the ways in which these forms worked on their viewers, users and society. Focussing on the Roman world of the late Republic, the title looks in detail at four case studies of cultural and aesthetic manifestations, some traditionally seen as art and some less so, and relates them to their social contexts, and to broader sociological, anthropological, and cognitive fields. Looking at frescoes (such as the garden room of the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta), portraits and tapestry, the title also examines artefacts that have close links to art forms and art objects, and that work in closely related ways, including the installation art of the garden and the domestic caged bird. Roman art, which frequently plays with borders and with levels of reality and representation is uniquely suited to an exploration of where the boundary between art and not-art appears. This study defines and explores both the internal variety and the consistencies of 'art', and the basic unity of related 'not-art' in their cultural and aesthetic content and their social functions. In so doing, a number of recurrent themes emerge: self-dramatisation, engaging in a society, and the way art forms impinge on the mind and on social space, as well as cognition, civic and individual identities, social contexts and values, and artistic values.

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