The University of Wisconsin Press

Art / Architecture / Classics

Hellenistic Architectural Sculpture
Figural Motifs in Western Anatolia and the Aegean Islands
Pamela A. Webb

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
William Aylward, Nicholas D. Cahill, and Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Series Editors

A detailed, illustrated reference to sculpture adorning Hellenistic buildings

Sculpted figural motifs were an important component of many buildings in the Hellenistic world, and their frequent relegation to subsidiary status has, until now, left our knowledge of both Hellenistic architecture and sculpture incomplete. In Hellenistic Architectural Sculpture, Pamela A. Webb examines the full range of figural embellishment—from simple to complex, on large monuments as well as on more obscure ones, and in the major population centers as well as the smaller cities, sanctuaries, and isolated areas throughout western Anatolia and the Aegean islands.

In this book, the first to focus specifically on the figural adornment of Hellenistic architecture, Webb provides extensive information about the chronology and interpretation of figural motifs adorning religious, civic, commercial, commemorative, and domestic constructions. She finds that figural sculptures adorn structures at every level from the ground to the roof, and display a wide variety of motifs on such architectural elements as columns, walls, entablatures, and pediments. More than 130 illustrations of Hellenistic monuments—temples, altars, cult buildings, heroa, theaters, bouleuteria, stoas, gymnasia, and houses—and their sculptured adornment complement the author’s descriptions and analyses. The book features an extensive bibliography, citing resources from the early nineteenth century to the most recent publications.

Pamela A. Webb has taught art history and classics at Swarthmore, Rosemont, and Eastern Colleges. She is currently continuing her research on Hellenistic architectural sculpture.


“Webb’s grasp of the scholarship and coverage of the monuments seem all but total, and her careful and judicious critiques of previous opinion are most valuable.”
—Andrew F. Stewart, University of California, Berkeley

“Reading the book was pure pleasure. Webb brings together an extraordinary amount of material, ranging from the extremely familiar to the very obscure, and puts it in overall perspective both as sculpture and as architectural elements. I am certain that specialists in both fields will find it useful and enlightening, and also that it will be accessible and enjoyable for non-specialists and readers with little background in Greek art—including undergraduates.”
—Steven Lattimore, University of California, Los Angeles

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cover of Webb's book is blue and white with a sculpture photo

October 1996
LC: 95-025221 NA
224 pp.   8 1/2 x 11  
81 b/w photos, 55 line illus.

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Cloth $60.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-14980-2
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