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Copiez la femme: Replicated Bodies and Individuality in Roman Portraiture (lecture)

Date: Thursday, January 10, 2008
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Get Tickets" button below.

Roman portraits are famous for highly individualized renderings of their subjects. But often, portrait heads are combined with bodies copied from a limited repertoire of statue types. How does this influence our interpretation of the work? Annetta Alexandridis, professor of classical art and archaeology at Cornell University, examines the Herculaneum Women statues as a case study to explore this question.

About the Herculaneum Women
The Large and Small Herculaneum Women are currently on view at the Getty Villa, on rare loan from the Dresden State Art Collections. Roman versions of sculptural types deriving from Greek art, the statues represent the most prevalent images of the draped female form in the classical world. Their elegant, enveloping drapery and composed stance represented feminine virtues of beauty, grace, and decorum in both Greek and Roman societies. More than 180 examples of the large statue type and over 160 of the small statue type are known, along with dozens of variants and reliefs on tombstones and sarcophagi. The majority of these figures are combined with individualized portraits.

About Annetta Alexandridis
Annetta Alexandridis is an expert on the arts of the Roman Empire, and assistant professor in the Department of History of Art & Visual Studies at Cornell University. Her research interests include Roman portraits, Greek myth and iconography, and gender studies. Alexandridis is currently at work on a study of animal and human bodies in Greek culture. She is the author of Die Frauen des römischen Kaiserhauses. Eine Untersuchung ihrer bildlichen Darstellung von Livia bis Iulia Domna (The Women of the Roman Imperial Family: An Investigation of Their Visual Representation from Livia to Julia Domna) and co-author of Archäologie der Photographie. Bilder aus der Photothek der Berliner Antikensammlung (Archaeology of Photography: Images from the Photo Archive of the Collection of Classical Antiquities in Berlin).

More Free Lectures at the Getty Villa
Hear historians of glass Michael Klein and Dunja Zobel-Klein discuss technique and technology in 19th-century reproductions of Roman glass on Saturday, January 12, and learn what makes Giovanni Battista Piranesi great from art historian Andrew Robison on Sunday, February 10. Browse all upcoming lectures at the Getty Villa and the Getty Center.

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. Parking is $8 per car. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

Large Herculaneum Woman

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