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The Column of Marcus AureliusThe Genesis and Meaning of a Roman Imperial Monument$
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Martin Beckmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834619

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877777_beckmann

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Carving the Frieze

Carving the Frieze

(p.110) Chapter Six Carving the Frieze
The Column of Marcus Aurelius

Martin Beckmann

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how it seems an impossible task to determine how many men worked on carving the frieze of the Column of Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful method of determining the number of carvers at work on the column is to look for the signatures of individual carvers—not written signatures, but stylistic ones. This technique, first pioneered by Giovanni Morelli for the identification of Italian Renaissance painters and later used to great effect by Sir John Beazley for the identification of Greek vase painters, usually relies on identifying peculiarities in the treatment of specific body parts. The method is much more difficult with sculpture than with two-dimensional painting, especially in the case of the Column of Marcus Aurelius, where most of the work must be done from photographs.

Keywords:   frieze, Marcus Aurelius, Giovanni Morelli, Italian Renaissance painters, Sir John Beazley, Greek vase painters

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