Art Matters Lecture Series

Ancient Bronzes as Art Objects: Roman Collectors and Corinthian Bronzes

An art market came into being in the late Hellenistic period that supplied bronze statues, large and small, to wealthy collectors. With the emergence of competitive art collecting in Rome, bronze figurines seem to have acquired a new function; and this dramatically changed their form and their appearance. The result was a novel kind of bronze statuette referred to as aes Corinthum, or Corinthia — “Corinthian bronzes”. The popularity of the collectible bronze figurine in contemporary culture also stimulated the use of “processional statuettes” in rituals and public ceremonies throughout the Roman world—a usage well documented for us today in Roman historical relief.


Chris Hallett, Professor of Roman Art, UC Berkeley

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