The Art of Painting in Ancient Greece

This innovative, fresh look on Greek painting combines a standard, comprehensive survey of the material record – wall-paintings, painted panels, or slabs – with an in-depth exploration of the ways in which the Greeks themselves appreciated this demanding art. The book dwells on techniques, styles, themes, and masters, as well as their admirers, clients, and critics. At the same time, the author discusses recent breakthroughs in archaeology, cultural studies, and art history in order to offer a well-rounded picture of a unique phenomenon in Greek culture, a celebrated art that enjoyed a long afterlife. In this respect, this book is unique in its kind as it reflects new, multidisciplinary scholarly approaches to the material record which it combines with a more traditional, art-historical exploration. Drawing on a wide range of ancient authorities – from Plato and Xenophon to Cicero, Pliny, Lucian, and Philostratus – the author discusses the surviving works within their chronological framework and under the light of recent discoveries.

After a wide-ranging discussion of painting in Bronze-Age Greece (Cyclades, Crete, Santorini, Mycenaean Greece), the book establishes a highly readable narrative of all technical, stylistic, iconographical and aesthetic developments through the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic period, before it culminates with the study of Graeco-Roman painting in the 2nd-3rd c. AD. The study thus covers all significant milestones in the development of Greek painting from the prehistoric through to the Roman era, as well as most surviving works (including many lesser known or recently discovered ones); it also pays tribute to the oeuvre and individual contributions of most great masters of antiquity. The book’s introduction offers a thorough account of the techniques and materials employed in ancient painting, alongside contemporary technical, scientific, and theoretical approaches to its study. The text is fully illustrated in color, and accompanied by an extensive bibliography and index.

The Art of Painting in Ancient Greece is a scholarly monograph that would interest all Greek-art enthusiasts, archaeology and art-history students, as well as any academic working on classical Greece.

 

BOOK PRESENTATION: 1898–1944 THE NISSIM LEVIS PANORAMA

Εvery picture tells a story. A touching photographic journey, captured in over 500 stereoscopic glass plates by the doctor and photographer Nissim Levis, a member of a prominent family in the Romaniote Jewish community of Ioannina. They were found by chance, in a corner of history and the city, in the possession of a street vendor who invited passersby to examine them by looking into a wooden box, for a fee — “one frank for the panorama, ladies and gentlemen!” A charming voyage in time that starts during the last fifteen years of Ottoman rule in Ioannina, with stops along the way for the city’s major historical events and for visits to some of the world’s most cosmopolitan locales of that period. Most of all, however, it is a small tribute to the memory of a group of individuals who would otherwise have been remembered only as simple rows on the Holocaust Museum’s list of victims.

 

Greek art, archaeology and athletic ideals

The Greeks did not separate art from craft, or indeed “high culture” from “entertainment.” They did not have tourist-filled galleries or museums; they did not believe in “Art for Art’s sake”; they did not have “semi-precious” stones. The material culture of ancient Greece is an inseparable part of what we call “Greek history”: the first and second colonization, the creation of the hoplite phalanx, the reforms of Kleisthenes and the democracy of Perikles, as historical processes are all governed by the same faith in humanity, nature, and symmetry

Dimitris Plantzos

Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Athens

Kapon Editions have the pleasure to invite you to the presentation of two distinguished books. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 12 at 19:30 at Diachronic Museum of Larissa, a new cultural space dedicated to the richness of Greek civilisation and its global influence.

The character of the antiquities that are presented in the museum is also related to the core ideas of the two excellent books, which are created with passion, and great concern for scientific accuracy that characterises our publications. The books are: “Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece,” written by Professor of Archaeology Panos Valavanis and “Greek Art and Archaeology” written by Professor Dimitris Plantzos. Both editions, with original texts, precious and rare photographs, reprinted after the Greek version, in English, by leading publishing houses abroad.

“Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece” celebrate the athletes, the games, the temples, and the cities. And, above all, the inspiring spirit of the ancient Greeks, over a span of a millennium and a half from the earliest mentions of athletics in Homer’s Iliad and other literary sources, through the Classical age, and into the Hellenistic, Roman, and late antique periods.

The book “Greek Art and Archaeology”, published by Kapon Editions in 2011, was selected by Atlanta-based American publishers Lockwood Press as their first venture into the field of classical archaeology. Translated by British archaeologist Nicola Wardle, the book, which has just appeared, was thoroughly revised and expanded by its author. The English-language edition is distributed in Greece and the rest of Europe by Kapon Editions, who also redesigned the Greek-language version. In the five years from its first edition, the book has been established as the standard textbook in the teaching of classical art and archaeology, offered by most Greek university departments where the subject is taught. It surveys Greek archaeology from the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces to the subordination of the last Hellenistic kingdoms to Rome.

The choice of the event site is not random. Diachronic Museum of Larissa — was founded in 2006, on the southern outskirts of the city in a pine area — is a cultural hearth which promotes, in such an exemplary manner, representative finds of civilisation of Thessaly from the Stone Age up to the 19th century.

The event is organised by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Larissa, the local department of French Institute, and Κapon Editions. At the end of the presentation, the public will also have the chance to contribute with the speakers in an engaging discussion on the ancient art and classical heritage.