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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This book is based on a series of preliminary studies on specific problems that allow the author, during a long process of maturation, to clarify ideas of iconographic methodology suited to the task. These ideas have been compared to traditional conceptions and new approaches by archaeologists and students of antiquity engaged in similar work. In this study, all these figures will be examined-grotesque dancers, satyrs, nymphs, matronly brides, riders on mules-starting with their first appearance. It is taken into account, more than is usually the case, that all the images of vase painting, even the most ambitious, are subordinate; to their image-bearer: various types of vase with their well-defined traditions and functions, which the decoration necessarily has to fit. Another important criterion, nowadays almost always accepted in this field, is that the figures on the vases do not reflect the real world of the ancient Greeks but their mental world.

Keywords: antiquity; decoration; iconographic; mental world; process of maturation; well defined tradition

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