Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Gill Reviews Cycladic Sculpture Monograph Revision

David Gill reviews: Pat Getz-Gentle, Personal Styles in Early Cycladic Sculpture (Wisconsin), Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.07.12

The book is a revision of a work published 13 years ago. Gill emphasizes that"Documented collecting histories are vital for understanding the market and the authenticity of information about reported find-spots" and cites the example of the New York "namepiece of the Bastis Sculptor" which is said to be from Naxos, but in the catalogue she also says "said to be from Paros"
 One of things that Getz-Gentle appears to be saying in the Addendum is that the establishment of the network of dealers can be used to identify material derived from looted sites. This observation in itself is significant given the impact of the raid in the Geneva Freeport that provided access to photographic material and subsequently allowed archaeological material to be returned to Italy. 
Gill goes on to discuss the so-called  "Keros hoard" (he prefers the term "Keros Haul" and names one of the "hauliers").
 One of the issues explored in my earlier review was that of forgeries or modern creations. This is a topic that deserves to be addressed in more detail not least because so few of the figures in the corpus come from excavated contexts. Evidence is now emerging of an individual ("the Forger") operating in Greece during the 1980s and 1990s who has identified a number of key pieces that were his creation.  He has indicated that his work was handled by major dealers. There continue to be major intellectual consequences of esteem for the study of these stunning marble figures. Sadly, this revised edition has not taken the opportunity to re-engage with the on-going debate 
He promises a forthcoming study of the forgery story with Christos Tsirogiannis and Christopher Chippindale.

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