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In this book, Sheila Dillon offers the first detailed analysis of the female portrait statue in the Greek world from the fourth century BCE to the third century CE. A major component of Greek sculptural production, particularly in the Hellenistic period, female portrait statues are mostly missing from our histories of Greek portraiture. Whereas male portraits tend to stress their subject's distinctiveness through physiognomic individuality, portraits of women are more idealized and visually homogeneous. In defining their subjects according to normative ideals of beauty rather than notions of corporeal individuality, Dillon argues that Greek portraits of women work differently than those of men and must be approached with different expectations. She examines the historical phenomenon of the commemoration of women in portrait statues and explores what these statues can tell us about Greek attitudes toward the public display of the female body.
Sheila Dillon is Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Art at Duke University. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, she is the author of Ancient Greek Portrait Sculpture, which was awarded the James R. Wiseman Book Award by the Archaeological Institute of America in 2008.