Distorted Ideals in Greek Vase-Painting

Book Details

Author  David Walsh
Publisher  Cambridge University Press
Publication Date   September 22, 2008
ISBN  052189641X
Pages  450

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This book examines Greek vase-paintings that depict humorous, burlesque, and irreverent images of Greek mythology and the gods. Many of the images present the gods and heroes as ridiculous and ugly. While the narrative content of some images may appear to be trivial, others address issues that are deeply serious. When placed against the background of the religious beliefs and social frameworks from which they spring, these images allow us to explore questions relating to their meaning in particular communities. Throughout, we see indications that Greek vase-painters developed their own comedic narratives and visual jokes. The images enhance our understanding of Greek society in just the same way as their more sober siblings in "serious" art. David Walsh is a Visiting Research Scholar in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures at The University of Manchester.

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