The Classical Tradition: Art, Literature, Thought by Ingo Gildenhard, Michael Silk, Rosemary Barrow

By Ingo Gildenhard, Michael Silk, Rosemary Barrow

The Classical culture: paintings, Literature, inspiration provides an authoritative, coherent and wide-ranging consultant to the afterlife of Greco-Roman antiquity in later Western cultures and a ground-breaking reinterpretation of huge features of Western tradition as an entire from a classical perspective.

- encompasses a precise mix of chronological variety, cultural scope, coherent argument, and unified analysis
- Written in a full of life, enticing, and stylish manner
- offers an cutting edge evaluate of the afterlife of antiquity
- Crosses disciplinary obstacles to make new experience of a wealthy number of fabric, not often introduced together
- totally illustrated with a mixture of colour and black & white photographs

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A century later, the painter Ingres can be heard proclaiming that any suggestion of an artist getting by ‘without studying antiquity and the classics’ is either ‘madness or laziness’,2 while extensive classical learning underlies the observations (as well as the artistic practice) of leading figures, from the humanist architect 1 ‘une grande teinture des humanités’: H. Jouin, Conférences de l’académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (1883), p. 277. 2 Recorded by Ingres’s friend the Vicomte Henri Delaborde, in his Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine (1890), p.

87 By comparison, the flirtation of Nazi Germany with ancient Greece (Losemann 1977) is peripheral. 88 Perl (2010) 597: cf. §11. 89 Modernist preoccupation with fragments rather than wholes, on the part of Eliot and others, is symptomatic. In the wake of twentieth-century catastrophes and barbarisms on an unprecedented scale, grand constructions of world-historical coherence have become unfashionable,90 and meaningful analogies between ancient civilization and the present, too. Seen through a postmodern kaleidoscope, history constantly reconfigures itself in random fashion: the normative and the subversive, the classical and the anti-canonical, appear side by side in a cheerful tumbling that resembles carnival (though carnival, too, as Bakhtin reminds us, has its classical parallels and sources: §12).

37 For Renaissance interpreters of their own world, alternative models, with different messages, were available. 41 And reconceptualization in the visual imagination soon finds its counterpart in science, with newly available data from antiquity and a broadly anti-clerical determination to search for scientific truth combining to generate new reckonings of time and new understandings of history. 42 The mechanical view of the universe that culminates in Isaac Newton’s Principia (1687) had its roots in classical sources like Euclid and Ptolemy;43 but the gradual secularizing of time did not end ideological struggles over the meaning and larger cultural authority of specific periods of history, and classical antiquity in particular.

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