The Power of Pygmalion

Ancient Greek Sculpture in Modern Greek Poetry, 1860-1960

by Liana Giannakopoulou (Author)
Monographs 344 Pages


This book explores the relationship between ancient Greek sculpture and modern Greek poetry between 1860 and 1960. It examines in some detail poems by Vasileiadis, Rangavis, Palamas, Cavafy, Sikelianos and Seferis, and shows how these poets appropriate the art of sculpture and in what ways this contributes to our understanding of each poet’s poetics.
Ancient Greek sculpture and sculptural imagery related to it are inevitably associated with the Classical heritage and bring the issue of ancient tradition and its relation to the modern artist into a prominent position. What is more, sculpture is particularly important for the erotic dimension through which the poets perceive their relation with art, and each poet systematically uses the image of the sculptor to define his perception of the artist. In both cases the myth of Pygmalion may be seen as successfully embodying each poet’s relation with art and tradition.


ISBN (Softcover)
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2006. 344 pp., 18 fig. col., 2 fig. b/w.

Biographical notes

Liana Giannakopoulou (Author)

The Author: Liana Giannakopoulou studied Literature and Linguistics at the University of Athens and in 1991 she completed her DEA in Formal and Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Paris VII (Jussieu). She received a Ph.D. in Modern Greek (2000) from King’s College London and she is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the same University. Her current research interests include poetry related to the Parthenon and the work of Yannis Ritsos.


Title: The Power of Pygmalion