Ancient bronze statuary provides a sense of immediacy, a window directly back to the classical world. The wistful expression of a young Roman woman, the fixed jaw of a politician, and the tensed muscles of a Greek athlete appear startlingly lifelike, transfixing the viewer with their striking realism. Incredibly durable yet frequently destroyed for their valuable materials, ancient bronzes are comparatively rare discoveries. This book, richly illustrated with works from the J. Paul Getty Museum and other important collections, provides an engaging overview of classical bronzes.
Enduring Bronze considers bronze throughout its long history, exploring its enormous appeal from antiquity to the present day. The book discusses the many roles bronze objects played in ancient Greece and Rome and analyzes discoveries made at ancient foundries and by contemporary scientists. It also examines references to bronze in mythology, Pliny’s histories, and other classical texts, as well as representations on vases and other artworks.
Carol C. Mattusch is Mathy Professor of Art History at George Mason University. She was guest curator of the exhibition Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples (National Gallery of Art, 2008–9) and is the author of Pompeii and the Roman Villa (National Gallery of Art, 2009), The Victorious Youth (Getty Publications, 1997), and The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum (Getty Publications, 2005), among many others.