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Re-dressing the balance: Winckelmann, Greek costume and the Ideal

Gatty, Fiona K. A. (2021) Re-dressing the balance: Winckelmann, Greek costume and the Ideal. Journal of Art Historiography (25). ISSN 2042-4752

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URL of Published Version: https://arthistoriography.wordpress.com/25-dec21/

Identification Number/DOI: https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00003460


The paper explores the overlooked attention Johann Joachim Winckelmann gave to clothing and clothed statues. It engages with Winckelmann’s self-fashioning, the costume-based analysis through which he traced the cultural trajectory of antique peoples, and his descriptive and rhetorical passages on dress. It identifies the invisible and immaterial qualities which Winckelmann attributed to ‘tasteful’ clothing, and proposes that the elegance of Greek clothing was a signifier for the manifestation and transposition of perfect bodily form to the Greek ideal. This re-thinking seeks to address the focus on the Greek male nude figure as his emblem of ideal beauty and proposes that we should integrate draped statues as well as nude ones into Winckelmann’s historic and aesthetic framework.

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
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This article is archived in ePapers for preservation purposes

Date:December 2021
Keywords:Beauty, ideal, clothing, drapery; fashion, Greek clothing, ideal beauty, imitation, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, taste, Neoclassicism
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Copyright Status:Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. Authors may subsequently archive and publish the pdfs as produced by the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any images contained within the articles. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
ID Code:3460
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