20, November 2010 § Leave a comment
Six years ago the Aegean Center hosted a small symposium on the ancient Parian poet Archilochos. The dozen speakers who attended from around the world were all renowned classical scholars, and several of them, remembering the hospitality they found here, have kept a warm spot for us, and we for them. Among them is Antonio Corso.
Antonio visited Paros again in June as a key speaker in the large conference on Skopas, and naturally came by to renew acquaintance with us. When he offered to give us a lecture, we naturally we grabbed at the opportunity, for he is a world expert on ancient Greek sculpture and architecture, and probably the world’s foremost expert on Praxiteles (he just published volume three of his The Art of Praxiteles – one more to go).
Since our students have been studying ancient Greek art in Italy, Athens, and Paros, his subject was especially appropriate. The lecture, open to the general public, was called “The Artists of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus”, and was given on November 15, in summery weather, in the early evening. As always, Dr. Corso ( his doctorate is from the University of Padua) was clear, brilliant, and straightforward, and afterwards there were many questions; we were reluctant to let him go.
The Mausoleum, one of the greatest monuments of the 4th century bce, was decorated by four or five pre-eminent sculptors from one of the greatest eras of sculptural art, and attempts at reconstruction, assigning fragments, and analyzing style and purpose never cease. Antonio always cites chapter and verse, and then gives his opinion. Since the most renowned of the sculptors was Skopas of Paros and one of the two architects was Satyros of Paros, we have a local interest; doubtless our marble was an unrivaled stimulant.
Antonio has promised to visit us again. We are going to hold him to it.