Introductory Studies in Greek Art by Jane Ellen Harrison

By Jane Ellen Harrison

Jane Ellen Harrison (1850-1928) was once a fashionable classical student who's remembered mainly for her influential stories of Greek faith, archaeology, literature and paintings. Introductory stories in Greek paintings (1885) was once Harrison's moment booklet, released after a interval spent learning archaeology on the British Museum below Sir Charles Newton and writing and lecturing as regards to Greek vase portray. In her preface to the booklet Harrison claims that Greek artwork is individual via what she calls 'ideality', a time period she defines as a 'peculiar caliber ... which adapts itself to the awareness of successive a while ... a definite largeness and universality which outlives the person race and persists for all time.' The e-book covers themes together with Chaldaeo-Assyria, Phoenicia, Pheidias and the Parthenon, and the altar of Eumenes at Pergamos.

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He wears for his royal head-dress two feathers that stand upright, the token of his rule over the upper and the under world ; he has we see analogies with the great god Osiris, who ruled in the shades below. In his left hand he holds a sceptre or crook, symbol of dominion, and also the T-shaped sign of life so very frequent in Egyptian art. In his right, advanced towards the adoring Seti, he holds a sickle and a flail, tokens of warlike dominion. He is of human form like his worshipper. Next let us turn to the beast-god on the left.

PREDECESSORS OF GREEK ART. n how long custom lingers after faith has departed. Now in Egypt it was otherwise. The finest development of her art, such as is seen in the statue of Nefert, was contemporaneous with conceptions of the after-life of the dead, which seem to us somewhat grossly material. The closest link by which the ka was bound to life was the body. Let it, therefore, be mummied—at first, it seems, simply, later at enormous expense, and with the most laborious toil. When once mummied it was deposited deep down in the tomb proper, to which led a well, which was filled up with rubbish, and the entrance concealed with practical and elaborate ingenuity.

To express a house a house was drawn, travelling was a walking bird, destruction a prostrate man, justice a cubit, the symbol of equal measurement. Now, what we have specially to note is that a picture which has to be fre- STUDIES IN GREEK ART. quently repeated must, in the nature of things, be abridged as much as possible, its meaning condensed into a minimum of form, and that form become the emptiest and most meagre of outlines. Hence arose that abstractedness, that multiplied monotony, that uniform iteration which strikes us in the decoration of temple and tomb.

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