Ancient Greek Vases: Reflections of a Great Culture

By Eva B. Palmer.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 8, 2015 $US5.00

A study of the Greek vase affords an unrivaled opportunity for discovering what Greek life was like. The Greek civilization was one of exceptional intelligence, taste, and idealization. They possessed clarity of vision, or as some would say, they had developed the art of seeing, and were preoccupied with perfect form. An analysis of vases as a primary visual source of information about mythology, religion, theater, and daily life reveals a visual living testimony to a great culture. Onsite examination of the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the British Museum provides superior insight. The art of storytelling is the intrinsic value found in a study of the Greek vase. Simplicity and directness are characteristic of the form that carried the message. Greek artists mastered the representation of three-dimensional figure on a flat (or curved) surface. They accomplished foreshortening, gave volume to the figure, and developed special relations in composition. Their extraordinary feeling for structural form, and finesse of contour in both the vase and its decoration provide an excellent mode for reflection. A study of the Greek vase enriches ones knowledge of and appreciation for the Greek culture

Keywords: Greek Culture, Greek Vases, Greek Vase Painting, Storytelling

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 10, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.35-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 8, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.489MB)).

Eva B. Palmer

Associate Professor of Art, Department of Studio and Digital Arts, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, USA