Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway, one of the world s leading experts on classical sculpture, turns her attention in this volume to the fourth century, a period of transition from the classical Athenian style to an array of styles found simultaneously in the Hellenistic diaspora. Though a period very rich in important monuments, the fourth century has been particularly challenging and vexing to scholars, and Ridgway s is the first comprehensive study of this sculpture in sixty years.
Ridgway s careful summaries of ongoing scholarly debates illustrate how the fourth century fits into the development of Greek sculpture and architecture. Discussing figural sculpture, votive and document reliefs, funerary art, and architectural sculpture from Greece proper to the non-Greek territories of Lykia and Karia in the Anatolian peninsula, she looks at major monuments and categories of monuments, describing each work carefully, puts into perspective problems surrounding interpretation and dating of the sculpture, reviews and evaluates previous scholarship on the subject, and offers her own views.
Ridgway pays particular attention to Greek originals, but also provides valuable chapters on Roman copies, one of the most difficult but critical areas for understanding Greek sculpture. Taking a skeptical stance, Ridgway revisits scholarly attempts to attribute sculptural work to the famous masters of the fourth century: Praxiteles, Skopas, and Lysippos. She undertakes a factual analysis of the extant evidence for and against various attributions, bolstered by a critical reading of ancient literary sources.