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By Jeffrey M. Hurwit

The Greeks inscribed their artistic endeavors and craft with labels picking mythological or historic figures, bits of poetry, and claims of possession. yet no form of inscription is extra hotly debated or extra interesting than the artist's signature, which increases questions in regards to the function and standing of the artist and the murals or craft itself. during this e-book, Jeffrey M. Hurwit surveys the phenomenon of artists' signatures around the many genres of Greek artwork from the 8th to the 1st century BCE. even though the nice majority of extant works lack signatures, the Greek artist still signed his items excess of the other artist of antiquity. reading signatures on gemstones, cash, mosaics, wall-paintings, metalwork, vases, and sculptures, Hurwit argues that signatures aid us examine the placement of the Greek artist inside of his society in addition to his belief of his personal ability and originality.

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Attic Red Figure stamnos signed by Smikros; c. 510-500 BCE. Brussels, Muse´e Royaux A 717. C RMAH, Brussels. X. Inscribed base of kore dedicated by Nearkhos on Acropolis, signed by Antenor; c. 520–510. Acropolis Museum 681. Photo courtesy H. R. Goette. XI. Fragmentary shield band signed by Aristodamos of Argos, c. 580 BCE. The J. 11), Malibu. XII. Base of lost portrait statues of Spoudias and Kleiokrateia, signed by . . ysikles and Praxiteles, before 361 BCE. Agora Museum I 4165. Photo: author.

For the fact that he (1) could afford the marble in the first place, (2) had the time (a year? 10 And even if his social standing was not itself that of an aristocrat, he could at least afford to act like one. 12 But the ancient e´ lite were, well, e´ litists who did not hold craftsmen of any sort and social standing in very high regard, finding them physically and therefore morally, politically, and militarily deficient. Thus, Herodotos, who puts the Greeks in the same company as the Thrakians, Skythians, Persians, Lydians, and nearly all the barbarians [who] think that their fellow citizens who learn crafts [tekhnas], and even their children, are dishonorable, but think noble those who have been set free from work, particularly those who, released from labor, are free to go to war.

You are the one in charge of them, who will act according to my wish . . Order the workmen to do according to your design. 7 The architect here is truly anonymous. The contrast with an Athenian building GREEK “EXCEPTIONALISM” IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 4. “Self-Portrait” of Ni-Ankh-Ptah, from Tomb of Ptah-Hotep, Sakkara. Old Kingdom. From J. Quibell, The Ramesseum (London 1896), pl. XXXII. 12 Still, names are not hard to come by elsewhere. 14 And there is Ni-Ankh-Ptah, the “overseer of sculptors” who apparently designed and supervised the execution of the painted reliefs in the Old Kingdom Tomb of Ptah-Hotep at Sakkara [Fig.

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