In this paper I shall present a new iconographic analysis and a different identification of the allegorical male figure – commonly interpreted as Kairos – on the marble relief, now in Turin. This investigation will be based on a careful re-examination of Greek, Latin, and Byzantine literary sources mentioning Kairos, one of the most celebrated sculptures made by Lysippus. After scrutiny of the most important and significant contributions to this topic, I shall separately discuss the literary sources and the archaeological data, highlighting the parallel processes of alteration, modification, and transformation of the literary and iconographic figure from the late 4th century BCE, throughout Roman times, up to the Byzantine period. From an art historical point of view, I conclude that the figure on the Turin relief is not a Roman copy of Lysippus’ lost Greek original: the presence of peculiar iconographic attributes compels us to consider it as an allegory of Time (Chronos, Tempus), even though the schema and the main core of the sculptural type derives from Lysippus’ Kairos. This relief’s iconography and its details are elements of an original inventio to be dated between the late Hellenistic and the early imperial period. As for the methodological approach, I adopt as a theoretical basis an overlooked passage of the Institutio Oratoria (10.2) by Quintilian, regarding the rhetorical concepts of imitatio and inventio.

Lysippus without the Kairos : a Greek Masterpiece between Art and Literature

ADORNATO, GIANFRANCO
2015

Abstract

In this paper I shall present a new iconographic analysis and a different identification of the allegorical male figure – commonly interpreted as Kairos – on the marble relief, now in Turin. This investigation will be based on a careful re-examination of Greek, Latin, and Byzantine literary sources mentioning Kairos, one of the most celebrated sculptures made by Lysippus. After scrutiny of the most important and significant contributions to this topic, I shall separately discuss the literary sources and the archaeological data, highlighting the parallel processes of alteration, modification, and transformation of the literary and iconographic figure from the late 4th century BCE, throughout Roman times, up to the Byzantine period. From an art historical point of view, I conclude that the figure on the Turin relief is not a Roman copy of Lysippus’ lost Greek original: the presence of peculiar iconographic attributes compels us to consider it as an allegory of Time (Chronos, Tempus), even though the schema and the main core of the sculptural type derives from Lysippus’ Kairos. This relief’s iconography and its details are elements of an original inventio to be dated between the late Hellenistic and the early imperial period. As for the methodological approach, I adopt as a theoretical basis an overlooked passage of the Institutio Oratoria (10.2) by Quintilian, regarding the rhetorical concepts of imitatio and inventio.
Settore L-ANT/07 - Archeologia Classica
Lysippus; Kairos; Hellenistic sculpture; iconography; Roman copy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/60363
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