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Visual storytelling on Attic pottery: Red-figure kraters in the Iberian world

Cratera Pulse para ampliar
Cratera Pulse para ampliar
Cratera. Detalle Pulse para ampliar
  • Timeframe: 2019–2022
  • Lead institution: Department of Art History, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Projected financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. R&D “Knowledge Generation” Project PGC 2018-095530-100.
  • Lead researchers: Carmen Sánchez Fernández and Jorge Tomás García (Dept. of Art History, UAM, Madrid)
  • MAN researcher: Margarita Moreno Conde
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One of the main objectives of this project is to decipher the origin and formation of the images on kraters that made their way to the Iberian Peninsula, some of which are incredibly complex and have cultural and ritual significance (at least in the Greek world).

By studying the images on Attic kraters found at Iberian sites, we hope to determine where those iconographic motifs originated as well as the life cycle of each vessel, from its production in an Attic workshop to its final placement in an Iberian grave. While conventional studies of Greek vessels tend to focus on cataloguing, this project wants to place the emphasis on contextualisation by examining aspects related to production, trade and the possible interpretations of their decorative imagery, not only from a Greek perspective but also and especially from that of the final recipient, ancient Iberian society. This hermeneutic approach will be consumer-centred, examining the life of the object in an Iberian context—its uses, repairs, changes in meaning, survivals, etc. Specifically, we will focus on the red-figure krater, a privileged vessel in the Iberian world. We will explore Greek and Iberian perception through the images on individual kraters and on sets found together, usually in princely tombs, which may form complex iconographic programmes.

In the process we will attempt to confirm one of our initial hypotheses: that at least some of these Attic vessels were deliberately chosen by Iberian buyers. We will try to determine how decisive demand was and whether such vessels were commissioned, as in other Mediterranean regions.

The ultimate aim is to map the object’s entire life cycle, from its creation in an Attic workshop to its final use in an Iberian context, adopting a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach without precedent in our country.

The project involves researchers from Spain, Greece and England.

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