The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists (World by Herbert Read

By Herbert Read

"Excellent, concise . . . hugely recommended." —Choice This largely illustrated dictionary offers info on over 2,500 artists, work, sculptures, drawings, prints, colleges and activities through the global, together with entries on modern paintings and artists, recommendations, fabrics, phrases, and writers who've inspired artists.

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Extra info for The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists (World of Art)

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Lissarrague, "La Libation: Essai de mise au point," and A. F. , sacrifice, prayer, dedication). In the context of the symposion the libation is the prologue to the consumption of a krater of mixed wine. Typically the first krater is dedicated to Zeus and the Olympian gods, the second to the Heroes, and the third to Zeus Soter. "13 It is worth mentioning the position of Dionysus in this ritual procedure, because as the god of wine he is to some degree the object of the offering, as Tiresias explains in the Bacchae: When we pour libations to the gods, we pour the god of wine himself that through his intercession man may win the favor of heaven.

470. 16. Red-figure cup, Euergides painter, ca. 510. The Space of the Krater f—7^-' 17. 190, ca. 410. as they walk forward (fig. 17). 22 They are holding small wine jugs (also wreathed) like those given to children on the festival day of the Pitchers, when the storage jars of new wine are opened. 23 This pro­ cession is described by the word "komos" written above the inscrip­ tion kalos neanias (handsome youth) and paian (paean), a hymn in honor of the gods. "Komos" is the root of the verb komazein, "to stage a feast" (see fig.

Here, in human space, the krater plays the same role as Dionysus does among the satyrs: it is the pole, the axial center for their dance and the source of their celebration. Dionysus is the master of wine, the only one who can drink without danger. But the god's human form leads the painters to put him into the realm of human gestures. To indicate his great power, they associate him with the krater, not because he drinks from it but because it is still the symbol of the conviviality and happiness of the symposion over which he presides.

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