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Look Inside Style and Politics in Athenian Vase-Painting

Style and Politics in Athenian Vase-Painting
The Craft of Democracy, circa 530–470 BCE

Part of Cambridge Studies in Classical Art and Iconography

  • Date Published: July 2002
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2005
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521791113

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About the Authors
  • The pictures on Athenian vases of the late Archaic period often play upon the tension between an image and its material support, and between the sense of depth and the sense of surface. Richard Neer's study tracks design and imagery on Athenian vases in four domains: the symposium, with its elaborate riddles and poems; the development of 'naturalistic' techniques, such as foreshortening and shading; the birth of self-portraiture at the end of the sixth century; and the treatment of overtly political subject-matter in the early democracy. In each case, formal ambiguity provided vase painters and their audiences with a means of creating new conceptions of civic identity. Focusing on 'how pictures show what they show' leads the author to a re-examination of basic ideas about Greek art and its history, with particular regard to naturalism, realism, allegory, and the relation of ceramics to social life.

    • Identifies connections between art and politics in the early years of Athenian democracy
    • Offers a new account of the 'Greek revolution' - the development of naturalism in Greek art
    • Brings together the disciplines of art history, classics, and philosophical aesthetics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'As a sophisticated meditation on aspects of artistic naturalism at the beginning of the classical period in Greece, Style and Politics scores very highly.' Classics

    '… wide basis of research, richness and variety of ideas.' Minerva

    '… excellent and challenging …'. Art History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521791113
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 184 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.842kg
    • contains: 99 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2005
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Greek revolutions revised
    1. The Greek symposium and the politics of adornment
    2. The evolution of naturalism: or, drawing the net
    3. 'Crafted without flaw': making painters in the age of Kleisthenes
    4. Diallage: iconography and the improvisation of democracy
    Conclusion: figures and politics.

  • Author

    Richard T. Neer, University of Chicago

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