Narration and Allusion in Archaic Greek Art

Anthony Snodgrass

in Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653577 | DOI:
Narration and Allusion in Archaic Greek Art

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A recurrent theme of Sir John Myres' writings was the extended analogy between poetry and the visual arts. In describing painting and other visual media, we all tend to use words which in their strict and original sense are applied to the spoken or written word: terms like narration, allusion, reading, episode, or even syntax. Myres was not afraid to reverse the process too, and wrote of ‘frieze-composition’ in Homer, and of the ‘economy of essential figures’ in Homeric similes. He was in fact one of the few writers in English who have ventured into the narrative methods of ancient artists, a province which has generally been the preserve of German scholars. This chapter examines narration and allusion in archaic Greek art. It discusses the use of the synoptic method as a means by which the early Greek artist conveyed a narrative. It also considers vase-paintings and wall-paintings as forms of narrative art in archaic Greece.

Keywords: Greece; narration; allusion; poetry; visual arts; vase-paintings; wall-paintings; Homer; narrative art; synoptic method

Chapter.  8191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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