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Women At The Fountain And The Well: Imagining Experience

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the importance of images as a way into ancient experience, the role that women played in obtaining and transporting water for household and religious uses, and, briefly, the differences and similarities between export and local versions of vases with water themes. The illustrations of weddings on Greek vases offer to scholars a perfect data set to support the argument that real life informs vase painting. The images that Gloria Ferrari considers appear on seventy-nine vases dated between 520 and 480 B.C. depicting women gathering water, but she neglects to discuss carefully vase imagery of women and water themes created after 480 B.C. Athenian women exiting the house to fetch water either at the well or fountain house would have brought them into the public and male world and would have made them available for inspiration to pot painters.

Keywords: Athenian woman; fountain house; Gloria Ferrari; vase painting



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