Art history essay on Adopting an approach

Topics: Red-figure pottery, John Beazley, Berlin Painter Pages: 3 (928 words) Published: November 4, 2013
Martin Robertson and Mary Beard’s manuscript, Adopting an Approach, focuses on the study of Athenian pottery. The manuscript begins, by describing Sir John Beazley and his revolutionary method of studying Greek vases. The Beazley Method focuses on the technical conventions of Greek Vases such as naming the artist, dating the pieces and then grouping them based off of similar characteristics. Beazley “provided for the first time a comprehensive framework of analysis for Athenian painting, and a way of dating and classifying.” (Pg. 16) However, what Beard’s main argument suggests is that it is not the artists that help us understand the importance of the vases because even if a vase is assigned to a specific time period or artist, there is still no way of knowing anything about that artist. These artists “have no existence, no social or historical reality that we can investigate outside the pots.” (pg.17) So, rather than focusing on the artist-producer, Beard makes the argument of switching the focus to the viewer. What is important is the actual vase and thus, we should be asking questions about the vases and what the images on the vases represent and mean. Beard’s claim is that the images on Athenian pottery are directly related to Athenian culture, society and ideas. The images painted on Athenian pottery are not necessarily exact replicas of Athenian everyday life; they are merely a representation of Athenian society. What Beard most significantly addresses, is the representation of women on these vases and what they tell us about Athenian society. Pictured on the vases is the elite, ideal woman. The purpose of this was to show the proper female behavior. The oppression of women in Athenian society excluded them from public and political life; they were confined to the home. Women were domestic and their main job was to bear children. What is interesting about these vases is that they also show a very different type of woman. This other type of woman was...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • History of Essays
  • Art History Essay
  • Art History key terms Essay
  • Art history Essay
  • Art History Essay
  • Art Essay
  • Art essay
  • Art Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free