The Sarpedon Krater (New Stuff Tuesdays)

The Sarpedon Krater book cover

Ooh, Greek vases! When I arrived at UW-Whitewater many moons ago, a handful of English faculty used ancient Greek culture as the theme of their English 102 classes. So librarians often helped students with research on Greek culture topics, including vase painting.

This particular vase is important both because of the potter and the artist who painted its elaborate depictions. The vase portrays the body of Trojan War hero, Sarpedon, who is being carried back to Greece to be buried. This magnificent object was raided from an Etruscan tomb in 1971 – and was eventually repatriated to Italy. But there was quite a tale of intrigue in between.

Nigel Spivey is a Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at Cambridge University and illuminates all that’s important about this objet d’art — as pottery, as painting, and as a portrayal of the dead. Not to mention all the drama of its “afterlife” in the modern world.

This video offers a 360 degree perspective of the vase in its permanent home at the Archaeological Museum of Cerveteri, near where it was originally unearthed.

The Sarpedon Krater: The Life and Afterlife of a Greek Vase
by David Brafman
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor, NK4653 .S3 S65 2019

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