Greek and Roman sculpture

Part of Parthenon frieze

View slideshow

In ancient Greece sculpture in marble and bronze was plentiful and highly regarded. On display in public places it was often mentioned in literature. The names of Great Masters were recorded from the 5th century BC, if not earlier. Educated Romans knew Greek sculpture from literature and sometimes travel; the uneducated could see it paraded in triumphs and displayed in public places. The scarcity of masterpieces and their gradual disappearance (largely through reuse of material) resulted in the practice of making exact copies (plaster casts).