Title page for ETD etd-04142005-184207

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Henrichs, Jennifer Alaine
Author's Email Address jhenri3@lsu.edu
URN etd-04142005-184207
Title The Riace Bronzes: A Comparative Study in Style and Technique
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Art
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Patricia Lawrence Committee Chair
Darius Spieth Committee Member
H. Parrott Bacot Committee Member
  • shipwreck
  • riace
  • riace bronzes
  • bronze statuary
  • classical greek statues
  • italy
  • warriors
Date of Defense 2005-04-14
Availability unrestricted
Two monumental bronze statues were discovered by a diver in the remains of an ancient shipwreck in the Riace Marina off the coast of Calabria in 1972. After their recovery and extensive conservation in the Archaeological Museum in Florence, the Riace bronzes have now come to reside in the Reggio Calabria Museo Nazionale. Lacking any inscriptions and removed from their original context, the Riace bronzes have been the source of much conjectured debate throughout the art world.

This paper examines the Riace bronzes on both technical and stylistic grounds by addressing such matters as the method of construction, the physical state of the statues and their metallurgical makeup, and stylistic comparanda. Although the Riace bronzes initially seem indistinguishable, the stance and treatment of anatomy of the two statues differ significantly when comparatively studied. Despite ongoing controversy on the Riace bronzes, it is through this study of casting techniques and the stylistic subtleties employed by the artists that the distinctions between these two statues are truly communicated.

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