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Chapter 23. Hellenistic Art

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with art in Macedonia between the death of Alexander III in 323 BC and the defeat of Perseus, last king of Macedon, at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC. In the last forty years excavations in Macedonian sites like Vergina, Lefkadia, Dion, and Pella have brought to light many important wall-paintings which have revolutionised the perception of the pictorial arts in classical antiquity. The chapter argues that the painting in Pella is based on a pictorial prototype similar to the mosaic from Pompeii but with an alternative meaning. The pebble mosaics of early Hellenistic Macedonia illustrate the finest examples of a genre that attained its peak in Pella during the last years of the fourth century. The most important marble sculptures in a sacred context on Macedonian soil come from the sanctuary of the Great Gods of Samothrace.

Keywords: Alexander III; early Hellenistic Macedonia; Hellenistic art; marble sculptures; mosaics; wall-paintings



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