The Getty Center
Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Museum Lecture Hall
Admission: Free; advance ticket recommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Get Tickets" button below.
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An art market came into being in the late Hellenistic period that supplied bronze statues, large and small, to rich collectors. Wealthy members of the Roman elite in the early first century BC—men such as M. Aemilius Scaurus, step-son of the dictator Lucius Sulla; L. Cornelius Chrysogonus, Sulla's wealthy freedman; and C. Verres, the corrupt Roman governor of Sicily—provide some of our best known examples. With the emergence of large-scale art collecting by the super-rich in Rome, bronze figurines apparently acquired a new function, dramatically changing their form and appearance. The result was a novel kind of bronze statuette, well documented in ancient literary sources, referred to as as Corinthum or Corinthia, or "Corinthian bronzes." But what such bronzes were like has up until now remained something of a mystery.

Chris Hallett argues that many of these notorious "Corinthian bronzes" actually survive from antiquity; we can even date their first appearance in the archaeological record, and chart something of their evolution over time. He maintains in addition that the popularity of the collectible bronze figurine gave rise to the use of bronze statuettes in Roman homes in the familiar figure of the Roman lares. It also stimulated the conspicuous use of "processional statuettes" in rituals and public ceremonies throughout the Roman world.

Chris Hallett is professor of Roman art at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC–AD 300 and co-author of Roman Portrait Sculpture of Aphrodisias. Since 1991 he has worked at New York University's excavations in Aphrodisias, Turkey.


How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.