- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson; y First printing edition (May 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500237808
- ISBN-13: 978-0500237809
- Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The History of Greek Vases Hardcover – May, 2001
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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.
From Library Journal
The study of Greek vases is ubiquitous, with new volumes published every year. Lissarrague (l'Ecole des Haute Etudes en Sciences Sociales), who specializes in Attic imagery, here focuses on the meaning behind the images depicted on vases, explaining his work as "a miscellany, an anthology, a bouquet of images." The excellent full-color photographs are crisp in detail and are the main reason to purchase this title. Lissarrague has published "many collective works" and authored The Aesthetics of the Greek Banquet. Boardman (emeritus, Oxford), on the other hand, has a virtual lock on the record for most books published on Greek vases, having written four of the five titles on "painted pottery" in the Thames & Hudson "World of Art" series. One of the top scholars in his field, he is also blessed with a talent for writing cogently. He tackles the large view of the subject "to provide a history of the craft that goes beyond the physical appearance of the vessels," explaining what might "be taken for granted or ignored." His illustrations are nowhere near as detailed or flashy as those in Lissarrague's book, but they sufficiently illustrate his comments. Lissarrague's book is recommended where scholars need topnotch illustrations of Greek vases; Boardman's is necessary for any library hoping to maintain a high-quality classical studies or art collection. Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Readers can rest assured that Boardman's reputation as a leader in the field is well-deserved. If you are looking for a good, up-to-date introduction to the scholarship of Greek vase painting, this is the book to buy.
Furthermore, I feel that the author's ideas about Greek pottery, its development, themes and technique are a bit superficial. Somehow, Boardman, despite his scholarship, fails to see the bigger picture.
While I appreciate the tons of information and research that went into this book, I needed something more, something that would address the essentials of Greek pottery (its logic, philosophy, aesthetic development.) Unfortunately, I didn't find it in this book, which is geared more towards archaeologists, than historians of art, artists or the general public.
color photographs, which are understandably needed for aesthetic
evaluation, a critique also made of the more recent and better balanced
book _Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty_ by Andrew Lear and Eva
Cantarella, which also neglected to discuss metal ware. The Amazon
reviewers to date of _Greek Vases_ miss the main point, however, that
despite the title, Boardman, the doyan of Greek vaaase studies now over
80, discussed only ceramics, which were actually upstaged after 480 B.C.
by silverware at symposia as I have shown, though his arch critic Vickers,
the curator of antiquities at the Ashmolean, who Boardman is said to have
treated shabbily, falsely asserted that the Greek elite had always used
precious metals at symposia. Carried away by his homosexual mentor, Sir.
John Beazley, inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, Boardman, now also
Sir John, equates the vase painters with Michaelagelo and Raphael,
although not a single one of them is ever even mentioned in any surviving
Greek or Latin document. Furthermore, against all evidence, he asserts
that these "pots," as Vickers dubs them, constituted an important economic
export for Athens, helping to balance the payments for Athenian imports in
spite of Vickers' proof that they cost very little indeed.