The University of Wisconsin Press

Art History / Classics / Archeology


Fourth-Century Styles in Greek Sculpture
Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway

Wisconsin Studies in Classics

The first comprehensive survey of fourth-century sculpture in sixty years

Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway, one of the world’s leading experts on classical sculpture, turns her attention in this volume to the fourth century, a period of transition from the classical Athenian style to an array of styles found simultaneously in the Hellenistic diaspora. Though a period very rich in important monuments, the fourth century has been particularly challenging and vexing to scholars, and Ridgway’s is the first comprehensive study of this sculpture in sixty years.

Ridgway’s careful summaries of ongoing scholarly debates illustrate how the fourth century fits into the development of Greek sculpture and architecture. Discussing figural sculpture, votive and document reliefs, funerary art, and architectural sculpture from Greece proper to the non-Greek territories of Lykia and Karia in the Anatolian peninsula, she looks at major monuments and categories of monuments, describing each work carefully, puts into perspective problems surrounding interpretation and dating of the sculpture, reviews and evaluates previous scholarship on the subject, and offers her own views.

Ridgway pays particular attention to Greek originals, but also provides valuable chapters on Roman copies, one of the most difficult but critical areas for understanding Greek sculpture. Taking a skeptical stance, Ridgway revisits scholarly attempts to attribute sculptural work to the famous masters of the fourth century: Praxiteles, Skopas, and Lysippos. She undertakes a factual analysis of the extant evidence for and against various attributions, bolstered by a critical reading of ancient literary sources.

Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway is Rhys Carpenter Professor Emerita of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. An authority on Greek sculpture, she has written many books on the subject, including Hellenistic Sculpture I: The Styles of ca. 331–200 B.C., Hellenistic Sculpture II: The Styles of ca. 200–100 B.C., and Hellenistic Sculpture III: The Styles of ca. 100–31 B.C., all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. She is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement from the Archaeological Institute of America.


“An authoritative, informative, interesting, and extremely useful book.”
—Jerome J. Pollitt, Yale University

“A true authority, Ridgway leads the reader, step by step, through the labyrinthine arguments of previous scholars, presents new information relevant for a reinterpretation, and then outlines carefully the results, often producing a whole new way of seeing familiar works.... A brilliant synthesis of widely dispersed materials offering many new insights and surprising connections. Brunilde Ridgway tackles difficult problems of style, iconography, chronology, and attribution, making them intelligible and lucid.”
—Richard Daniel De Puma, University of Iowa, series editor

“Ridgway’s views and methods for interpreting and dating ancient Greek sculpture, which seemed revolutionary, even heretical, in the 1970s, have by now become accepted as a legitimate school of thought, although still not universally followed. She is without doubt the most influential scholar of Greek sculpture of the last thirty years.”
—Mark Fullerton, Ohio State University, author of The Archaistic Style in Roman Statuary

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Dark red cover features an image of a classical Greek sculpture

August 1997
LC: 96-041949 NB
360 pp.    8 x 10
110 b/w photos, 28 line illus.

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Cloth $45.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-15470-7
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