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Faculty Book: Rachel Meredith Kousser

Rachel Meredith Kousser

Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: The Allure of the Classical
(Cambridge University Press, 2008)

While searching for the origins of classicism in Western art, Rachel Kousser offers a case study of a sculptural type most often deemed as extraordinarily conservative: the forceful yet erotic image of Venus, as found in Hellenistic and Roman ideal sculpture. Her scholarly analysis, the first of this type, argues that the Romans self-consciously employed such sculpture to represent their ties to the past in a rapidly evolving world, thereby subtly exemplifying their preference for the retrospective. She addresses historical evolution and the Roman adaptation for context, rather than adherence to an original. At the same time, Kousser reevaluates major monuments, including the Venus de Milo, the Column of Trajan, and the Arch of Constantine. Rachel Meredith Kousser is an assistant professor of art at Brooklyn College and on the doctoral faculty in art history at the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: JUN 9, 2008

Category: Art History, Faculty Books