John Boardman The History of Greek Vases

ISBN 13: 9780500237809

The History of Greek Vases

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9780500237809: The History of Greek Vases
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Greek pottery has long fascinated scholars and historians of art. It provides a continuous commentary on all other Greek arts, even sculpture, and the scenes figured on the vases can prove to be as subtle and informative as the works of Greek literature. In no other art of antiquity do we come closer to the visual experience of the ancient Greeks or share their views on life, myth, and even politics. The stylistic history of Greek vases has been demonstrated in other Thames & Hudson books by John Boardman. Here he sketches that history but goes on to explore the many other matters that make the study so fruitful. He describes the methods of making and decorating vases, the processes of identifying the artists, life in the potters' quarter in Greek towns, the way in which the wares were traded far beyond the borders of the Greek world, from Morocco to Persia, from Russia to the Sudan, and problems in making and decorating them. He shows how Greek artists exercised a style of narrative in art that was long influential in the West, and how their pictures reflected not simply on storytelling but on the politics and social order of the day. The vases' function in Greek culture and as messengers of style and subject are explained.

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About the Author:

John Boardman, Lincoln Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and Art at Oxford University, has written widely on the arts of ancient Greece.

From Publishers Weekly:

Sir John Boardman author of Greek Art, Athenian Black Figure Vases and Early Greek Vase Painting is Mr. Greek Vases, and his masterful and classy explications of what might in other hands seem dry and dusty archeological material are a joy to read. Here Boardman gets down to the nitty-gritty of how and why potters created and decorated the vases, how their artistic quality developed and their influence spread. "The raw material could not be commoner or cheaper," he points out, yet Greek vases still astonish with their ornate elegance. Perhaps most illuminating here, along with the 358 clear and well-placed b&w photo illustrations, are short chapters devoted to aspects of painting and to techniques used to create the vases throwing different pieces on the potter's wheel and then joining them later, as opposed to trying to create them all of a piece. Tricks for studying vases are also included: one amusing example takes note of a vase that can be roughly dated because the names of its young lad models, some of whom grew up to be well-known citizens, are listed on it. ("They were only of interest to their aged fondlers while they were still boys," notes Boardman.) A wise scholar, Boardman concludes with remarks on common sense, itself everywhere evident in this book: "It remains essential in the formulation and execution of any academic exercise and is itself largely the product of experience, though we should take nothing for granted." No one even vaguely interested in ancient art will take this distillation of more than 50 years of study and scholarship for granted.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780500285930: The History of Greek Vases

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ISBN 10:  0500285934 ISBN 13:  9780500285930
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, 2006
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