Old Age in Greek and Roman Art


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Susan B. Matheson and J. J. Pollitt

View Inside Format: Hardcover
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A comprehensive look at ancient sculptures, wall paintings, vases, and more depicting the elderly in Greek and Roman society

Some of the most vivid portraits in ancient art depict older members of society. In marble and bronze sculptures, on coins and painted vases, and in wall paintings and mosaics, elderly men and women are shown with the telltale signs of old age: wrinkles, white hair, sagging jowls, and stooped postures. This publication examines more than 300 of these vivid images to reveal perceptions—both positive and negative—about aging and the aged in Greek and Roman society. Seven chapters explore medium and form—including Greek grave reliefs, marble grave monuments in Roman Africa, and Roman sarcophagi—as well as subjects, from priests and priestesses to ancient kings of Athens, old gods, and satyrs. Grounded in the analysis of art, contemporary literature, and the archaeological record, this comprehensive volume is the first in English to explore how old age was presented in art from antiquity.

Distributed for the Yale University Art Gallery

Susan B. Matheson is the Molly and Walter Bareiss Curator of Ancient Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. J. J. Pollitt is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and History of Art at Yale University.

ISBN: 9780300266566
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Yale University Art Gallery
296 pages, 9 x 12
279 color + 43 b/w illus.