Greek Vases : The Athenians and Their Images

Greek Vases : The Athenians and Their Images

Greek Vases : The Athenians and Their Images
by F. Lissarrague

ISBN-10: 1878351575
ISBN-13: 9781878351579

This anthology of Greek vases, `composed to please the eye', discusses and illustrates many of the thousands of Greek vases that survive in a remarkably good state of preservation in museum collections around the world. With such a large format, the book is able, in many cases, to present larger than life colour photographs of complete vases as well as individual scenes. The vases are presented thematically, covering the banquet, love and seduction, athletics, warriors and heroes, rites of passage and death, men and gods, the dangerous exploits of Herakles, Athenians, and Dionysus and his followers. The vases are accompanied by a very readable and informative narrative that discusses the choice of subject, its execution and its significance within the wider context of Greek society and culture. (from Amazon)

Looking at Greek vases for the clues they provide about the people who created them, Lissarrague (The Aesthetics of the Greek Banquet), a professor at Paris's École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, does not forget to enjoy them for the artistic pleasures they provide. In short chapters organized by vase subject matter ("At the Banquet," "Under the Gaze of Eros," "Athletes, Games, and Competitions," etc.), Lissarrague offers what he calls a "bouquet of images... composed to please the eye." His comments are personal and perceptive, even if the image quality of the 180 (mostly color) illustrations varies, mainly due to extreme closeups of artworks that omit essential parts of objects and shove details into the reader's face in a disconcerting and distorting way. (This book was originally published in France and has been clearly and serviceably translated by Kim Allen, who is credited with a minuscule mention in the copyrights at the very end of the book.) Lissarrague offers intriguing anecdotes about certain masterpieces, like the François Vase in the Florence Archeological Museum, pulverized in 1900 by a disgruntled museum worker. Musing on how vases convey their images to us ("by association and by accumulation"), Lissarrague has a worldly-wise tone on matters like "the Greek bisexuality which brings together, without exclusivity, homo- and heterosexual relationships, in a culture which, though highly masculine, was not ignorant of feminine charms." He has sympathetic words for satyrs: "There is something naïve and sometimes childish about satyrs. They are like young animals let loose and out of control, whose gesticulation causes laughter." A bibliography, although almost entirely in French, is helpful. (July)

Inv#: B003


Guaranteed Authentic

More Images:



Hixenbaugh Ancient Art LTD, 537A West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011

212-989-9743   -

Copyright © 2006-2019 Hixenbaugh Ancient Art