dem zu Folge der Doryphoros in Punkto auctoritas als Vorlage denkbar schlecht geeignet war...

karennerak

New Member
Dutch
Hello! I am reading the introduction of a German essay about the Augustus of Prima Porta (which is a Roman statue), and I can't figure out what the author is saying in the following sentence:

Kritisch hinterfragt wird an dieser Stelle eine Aussage des kalifornischen Kunsthistorikers John Pollini, dem zu Folge der Doryphoros in Punkto auctoritas als Vorlage fur der Augustus von Prima Ports denkbar schlecht geeignet war.

Just for some background, the Doryphorus is a Greek statue which inspired the statue of Augustus at Prima Porta, and auctoritas in Roman society meant a person's standing or influence. So the first part of the sentence means "At this point a statement by the Californian art historian John Pollini will be questioned"... but what exactly did the statement concern? Did he claim that the reference to the Doryphorus statue imbued the Augustus statue with suggestions of auctoritas? I've been staring at it for a long time, but I still can't figure it out.
 
  • fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    I have found this book on the internet. The sentence actually reads:

    „Kritisch hinterfragt wird an dieser Stelle eine Aussage des kalifornischen Kunsthistorikers John Pollini, dem zu Folge der Doryphoros in Punkto auctoritas als Vorlage für den Augustus von Prima Ports (sic; lege „Porta“) denkbar schlecht geeignet war.“

    This is unfortunately the way German art historians write: really badly.

    What is the point of calling Pollini a “kalifornischer Kunsthistoriker”? Is there a special Californian school of art history?
     
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    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    hinterfragen = scrutinize, call into question
    "dem zu Folge" = according to whom
    in Punkto autoritas = with regard to auctoritas

    At this point, a statement of the California art historian John Pollini will be examined, according to whom the Doryphorus is arguably ill suited to be the original for the Augustus of Prima Porta (at least with respect to auctoritas).

    I'd welcome a better suggestion for denkbar. It's a weasely word in German, so I've translated it with a weasely word in English, but I'm not sure they are weasely in the same way.
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Yes, but if he had written "in puncto" I would have criticised him for not continuing in proper Latin with "auctoritatis".
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    All these obvious, self-correcting, typos were taken into account in my translation above.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    What is the point of calling Pollini a “kalifornischer Kunsthistoriker”? Is there a special Californian school of art history?
    He's laying the groundwork for his criticism of Pollini's position. You know these Americans: they just have a few museums with real art, most of it they only see on their rare hurried trips to Europe, they have to work with images and not the original, they didn't grow up with culture all around them like we did---they can't help being dead wrong.:p
     
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    karennerak

    New Member
    Dutch
    Who knew I'd be opening such a can of worms haha! Thanks so much for your translations and additional insights everyone. :) (And apologies for the mistakes in my original post.) xxKaren
     
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