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The Sarpedon Krater

The Life and Afterlife of a Greek Vase

Nigel Spivey



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Head of Zeus
12 September 2018
The story of an object once described as 'the finest Greek vase there is', of the culture that produced it, and of the remarkably enduring influence of the scenes depicted on it.

Once the pride of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sarpedon krater is a wine-mixing bowl crafted by two Athenians, Euxitheos (who shaped it) and Euphronios (who decorated it), in the late 6thc BC. The moving image Euphronios created for the krater, depicting the stricken Trojan hero Sarpedon being lifted from the battlefield by 'Sleep' and 'Death', was to have an influence that endured well beyond Antiquity.

Nigel Spivey not only explores the particular culture that produced the vase, but also reveals how its central motif was elaborated throughout classical antiquity and then reworked as a Christian tableau.

The Sarpedon Krater is both the extraordinary story of a small and occasionally scandalous object, once consigned to the obscurity of an Etruscan tomb, and a fascinating case study of the deep classical roots of the ideas and iconography of Western art.
By:   Nigel Spivey
Imprint:   Head of Zeus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781786691613
ISBN 10:   1786691612
Series:   The Landmark Library
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   12 September 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nigel Spivey is Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at Cambridge, and the author of Songs on Bronze: The Greek Myths Made Real (2005) and Classical Civilization (2015). He presented the TV series How Art Made the World (2005).

Reviews for The Sarpedon Krater: The Life and Afterlife of a Greek Vase

'Beautifully illustrated [and] enjoyable ... You will come away from this book knowing more about the Sarpedon krater and the civilisation that created it' * Daily Telegraph * 'In his pursuit of the Sarpedon motif, Spivey proves a diligent detective and an engaging storyteller as he puts together his case' * Times Literary Supplement *

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