Pots & Plays: Interactions Between Tragedy and Greek Vase-painting of the Fourth Century B.C.

October 30, 2020
Pots & Plays: Interactions Between Tragedy and Greek Vase-painting of the Fourth Century B.C.

This interdisciplinary study opens up a fascinating interactionbetween art and theater. It shows how the mythologicalvase-paintings of fourth-century B.C. Greeks, especially thosesettled in southern Italy, are more meaningful for those who hadseen the myths enacted in the popular new medium of tragedy. Thepots do not, it is argued, show the plays as such, but gain depthand complexity from recalling the tragic vision of particularstage-versions, including those of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and, aboveall, Euripides. Of some 300 relevant vases, 109 are reproduced andaccompanied by a picture-by-picture discussion. Nearly half ofthese were discovered since 1970, and most have not been thoroughlydiscussed in relation to tragedy before. The vases are organized byplaywright and by the tragedy invoked. Apart from its challengingideas about the significance of Tragedy for the Greeks, this booksupplies a rich and unprecedented resource from a neglectedtreasury of painting.