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The Derveni Krater: Masterpiece of Classical Greek Metalwork

The Derveni Krater: Masterpiece of Classical Greek Metalwork

Hardback Ancient Art and Architecture in Context

By (author) Beryl Barr-Sharrar

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  • Publisher: American School of Classical Studies at Athens
  • Format: Hardback | 255 pages
  • Dimensions: 230mm x 305mm x 25mm | 1,751g
  • Publication date: 30 January 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Princeton
  • ISBN 10: 0876619626
  • ISBN 13: 9780876619629
  • Edition statement: Volume I ed.
  • Illustrations note: 169 figs, 1 map, 32 col pls
  • Sales rank: 1,337,148

Product description

This beautifully illustrated book represents the first full publication of the most elaborate metal vessel from the ancient world yet discovered. Found in an undisturbed Macedonian tomb of the late 4th century B.C., the volute krater is a tour de force of highly sophisticated methods of bronze working. An unusual program of iconography informs every area of the vessel. Snakes with copper and silver inlaid stripes frame the rising handles, wrapping their bodies around masks of underworld deities. On the shoulder sit four cast bronze figures: on one side a youthful Dionysos with an exhausted maenad, on the other a sleeping Silenos and a maenad handling a snake. In the major repousse frieze on the body a bearded hunter is associated with Dionysian figures. What was the function of this extraordinary object? And what is the meaning of the intricate iconography? The krater is placed in its Macedonian archaeological context as an heirloom of the descendants of the man named in the Thessalian inscription on its rim, and in its art historical context as a highly elaborated, early 4th-century, version of a metal type known in Athens by about 470 B.C.

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Author information

Beryl Barr-Sharrar is Adjunct Associate Professor of Art History at New York University. She is the author of numerous publications on Classical and Hellenistic art.

Review quote

..The Derveni Krater offers a significant contribution to the study of Classical Greek art. Those interested in bronze and metalwork production will find a thorough discussion of the history of Greek metal vessels and a new typology of the bronze volute krater type.' -- Alexis Q. Castor, Franklin & Marshall College Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009 Beryl Barr-Sharrars new monograph on the Derveni Krater breaks entirely new ground, elevating this masterpiece of later classical Greek art to a status alongside those of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Alexander Sarcophagus as the most important monuments of Greek art in the fourth century B.C. She shows that bronze vases, which have hitherto been included in the minor arts, now deserve their own place alongside architecture, sculpture and painted vases as high arts. In addition, the sophistication and care of the layout and the book production reaches new heights of what an outstanding publication of a work of Greek art can be.' -- David Mitten Harvard University Spectacular! A book such as this appears on ones desk once in a decade: a definitive publication of a masterpiece of Greek art that is comprehensive, informative, persuasive, and beautifully illustrated.' -- Andrew Stewart UC Berkeley "This is a penetrating study of a sumptuous artifact, with superb photographic documentation in color; a very handsome publication." -- R.R.R. Smith Oxford University ...an exemplary treatment of a major monument of ancient art. The illustrations are comprehensive and the colour plates (including many helpful close-ups of details) superb. The American School of Classical Studies is to be congratulated on the publication of such a fine volume.' -- Michael Vickers, Ashmolean Museum JHS 2010 ...handsomely produced and impeccably edited; the series of color plates sets a new and welcome standard for images of the Derveni krater. In an age of expensive monographs,...,here is a real bargain. This is a work that few will wish to be without, and there is everything to look forward to from future volumes in the series.' -- Jasper Gaunt, Emory University American Journal Of Archaeology January 2011

Table of contents

Metal Vessels in Macedonian History; The Macedonian Context of the Derveni Krater; Precursors to the Derveni Krater: The Fifth-Century Attic Bronze Volute Krater of the Alpha Type; Elaborated Volute Kraters of the Late Fifth and Early Fourth Centuries BC; The Iconography of the Derveni Krater, 1. The Major Repousse Frieze; The Iconography of the Derveni Krater, 2. Animal Friezes, Masks, Shoulder Figures. Conclusions; Appendix: Technical Characteristics of the Derveni Krater. Bibliography. Index.