The Aesthetic Basis of Greek Art of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C. By Rhys Carpenter, Professor of Classical Archaeology in Bryn Mawr College. Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Longmans, Green & Co., New York, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, 1921

C. D. B.
1921 Journal of Roman Studies  
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more » ... nograph is a critique not of artistic taste but artistic behaviour. It makes no attempt to eulogise or appreciate or evaluate ancient Greek art, but solely to examine Greek artistic procedure and by such an examination to arrive at some fundamental aesthetic problems and principles.' So, at least, the author informs us in the opening lines of his foreword. The attempt seems ambitious, especially as it is made in some two hundred and fifty duodecimo pages with abnormally wide margins. In the course of the book we find that, starting from the generally accepted assumption that Greek art was closely wedded to utility, the author embarks upon a close and elaborate argument, by which he concludes that the Greeks and peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean generally lived in a much less three-dimensional world than the Northern Europeans, and that Gothic architecture possesses a marvellous power of 'threedimensional presentation' entirely lacking in that of the Greeks. On the way we are arrested by several striking suggestions in epigrammatic form, some, at least, of which appear to be original; for instance, to quote at random, we are told that ' art is the great magician who makes life out of the unliving' ; that' in Greek sculpture inanimate objects, except as the most minor accessories, were wholly ruled out during the fifth and fourth centuries '; and that ' to the uneducated public the language of the classical orders is wholly lost, precisely because they are unaware of its alphabet and phraseology.' As to the exact value both of the argument itself, the drift of which is, at the outset, not so very easy to grasp, and of the conclusions reached, opinions will no doubt differ; also it may be doubted whether such a book, at any rate in its present form, was worth the labour of composition. But at all events it cannot fail to arouse the interest of all who are well acquainted with ancient art and with the problems which it presents, and are sufficiently curious to test the validity of the conclusions reached by the author. The book has neither illustrations nor index; neither in size nor binding is it dignified. The printing is hardly first-rate ; nor is it easy to see the point of printing the title of the series-Bryn Mawr Notes and Monographs-across the foot of every double page to match the title of the book at the top. C. D. B. COLLECTION DES UNIVERSITES DE FRANCE PUBLItE SOUS LE PATRONAGE DE L'ASSOCIATION GUILLAUME BUDE. Published at Paris (1920 onwards) by La Societ6 d'Edition ' Les Belles Lettres.' The Library of the Society has recently received, thanks to the kindness of M. Malye, Directeur de l'Association Guillaume Bude, a number of the early volumes of this series: Ciceron, Discours pour P. Quinctius, pour Sex. Roscius d'JAmerie, pour Q. Roscius le comedien, by H. de la Ville de Mirmont; Perse, Satires, by A. Cartault; Lucrece, De la Nature, by A. Ernout. This series is very similar in idea and execution to that of the Loeb Classical Library. The volumes consist of plain texts of classical authors, Greek and Latin, accompanied on the opposite pages by a French translation. Each volume is prefaced by a few pages of introductory matter relating to the life and writings of the author and to the principal features of the work dealt with. The text is accompanied by a brief but adequate apparatus criticus, while difficulties in translation or interpretation receive comment as necessary. The type is good and clear. The ' make up ' of the volumes is thoroughly attractive. At the moment it is difficult to write any critical appreciation of the volumes sent by M. Malye, but the Association Guillaume Bude deserves the thanks of English students of the classics for the publication of this series, which is not unworthy to take its place upon library shelves in company with its English counterpart, the Loeb Classical Library Series. The cheapness of the edition is among its most admirable features.
doi:10.2307/295899 fatcat:xzeiqfvemnbyplxfsiffbmvcm4