NONFICTION

Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome

Getty Museum. 2013. 288p. ed. by & others. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781606061336. $60. FINE ARTS
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New opportunities for trade and natural resources such as rich volcanic soils and warm temperatures drew immigrants from Greece to the island then known as Sikelia over 2000 years ago. Greece's artistic culture and prospering economy fostered a flowering in the arts, philosophy, architecture, science, and engineering in what is now Sicily. Focusing on the art created there between 480 BCE and 212 BCE, editors Lyons (acting senior curator, antiquities, J. Paul Getty Villa), Michael Bennett (curator, Greek & Roman art, Cleveland Museum of Art), and Clemente Marconi (Greek art & archaeology, New York Univ.) cover Sicily's classical and early Hellenistic periods and hold the island up as a cultural rival to Athens. (Whether the catalog achieves this purpose is open to question.)
VERDICT With its numerous lavish color illustrations and informative, easy-to-read text, this book is quite enticing. Recommended for art history buffs, students, scholars, and armchair travelers with an interest in Greek and Roman history.

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