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Networks of Stone

Sculpture and Society in Archaic and Classical Athens


Helle Hochscheid

Networks of Stone explores the social and creative processes of sculpture production in Athens in the sixth and fifth centuries BC. Using the concept of art worlds, it analyses the contributions and interactions of all those who were in some way part of creating the sculpture set up in the sanctuaries and cemeteries of Athens. The choices that were made not only by patrons and sculptors but also by traders in various materials and a range of craftsmen all influenced the final appearance of these works of art. By looking beyond the sculptor to the network of craftsmen and patrons that constituted the art world, this study offers new insights into well-known archaeological evidence and some of the highlights of classical art history.
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Chapter I: Introduction: Athenian sculpture in context


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Introduction: Athenian sculpture in context

Parthenos, Telesinos of Kettos dedicated a statue on the Akropolis If it pleases you, allow that he dedicate another1

I.1 Sculpture and the Athenians

In the final years of the sixth century BC, one Telesinos of Kettos offered a statuette of Athena Promachos to the goddess on the Akropolis of Athens (Plate 1).2 Not an unusual event; many of his fellow Athenians had preceded him, and many would follow in centuries to come. What stands out is the dedicatory inscription on the column, in which Telesinos urges Athena to provide the means for another votive. His eagerness makes one wonder whether he succeeded. A man by the name of Telesinos served as archon in 487/6, and it is tempting to identify these two as the same, as evidence of the goddess’ continuing favour. The fact that no second dedicatory inscription by Telesinos was found in Athens is inconclusive: he might have offered a gift to Athena elsewhere, or his dedication may have been ← 1 | 2 →lost over the centuries. Then again, he might not have set up anything because she did not grant his wish, or because he did not survive the great conflict of his time, the Persian Wars.

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