This volume shows how the portraits of the Greeks and Romans gave shape to and reinforced the perceptions of the particular character of a person.
These considerations are based on intensive archaeological research, which in recent decades has successfully addressed questions of typology, identification, and historical classification of ancient portraits. Three aspects are examined in the interweaving of case studies and general reflections: the preconditions for the creation of portraits; the medial conditions of the creation processes; the efficacy of the created form.
Ancient artifacts such as statues, reliefs, and paintings gave tangible form to knowledge and abstract ideas, making them vivid, convincing, and lasting. At the same time, they emphasized, concretized, and combined only certain aspects of the ideas in question, while reducing or omitting others.
The book examines the emergence of artifacts as material manifestations of epistemic elements and the medial conditions of these shaping processes, as well as the effects of the resulting form. It combines case studies from Classical Archaeology with reflections on central aspects of material culture. With this approach, the book offers new perspectives on famous Greek and Roman works of art.