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Crowley, Patrick R.
The Phantom Image
Seeing the Dead in Ancient Rome
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
Aims and Scope
How could something as insubstantial as a ghost be made visible through the material grit of stone and paint? In this original and wide-ranging study, Patrick R. Crowley uses the figure of the ghost to offer a new understanding of the status of the image in Roman art and visual culture. Tracing the shifting practices and debates in antiquity about the nature of vision and representation, Crowley shows how images of ghosts make visible structures of beholding and strategies of depiction. Yet the figure of the ghost simultaneously contributes to a broader conceptual history that accounts for how modalities of belief emerged and developed in antiquity. Neither illustrations of ancient beliefs in ghosts nor depictions of the afterlife more generally, these images ultimately show us something about the visual event of seeing itself. The Phantom Image will be essential for anyone interested in ancient art, visual culture, and the history of the image.
- 328 pages
- 25 color plates, 71 halftones
- Professional and scholarly;
"The Phantom Imageis as unique as its subject matter.Crowleyshows impressive commandof thehistoriographic and theoretical backgroundwhilecreating a book thatis up-to-the-minutein terms of contemporary sources.This is an ambitious study in its intellectual, cultural, andchronological scope thatfocuses onsome heretoforemarginalized monuments and makes them central to an understanding of Roman visual culture."— Barbara Kellum, Smith College