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Corpus vasorum antiquorum. Poland 11. Krakow 1: Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology 1 and Jagiellonian University Museum

Corpus vasorum antiquorum. Poland 11. Krakow 1: Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology 1 and Jagiellonian University Museum

By Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka. Pp. 216, figs. 96, b&w pls. 106, color pls. 17, CD-ROM 1. Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Krakow 2012. Price not available. ISBN 978-83-7676-142-8 (cloth).

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The collection of vases in the Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology and in the Jagiellonian University Museum was established in the late 19th century. This fascicle is the first of three planned to replace outdated ones and to reflect new research opportunities and technical advances, with fuller descriptions and analyses of the vases. Drawings and computer photography are by Urszula Socha; photographs are by Pawel Gasior, Katarzyna Mirczak, and Jakub Sliwa; and conservation is by Anna Pusoska. The most important vases are illustrated in color, the rest in black-and-white; included is a CD-ROM with color images of every vase.

The fascicle contains a full range of fabrics: East Greek faience; Ionian or East Greek; Corinthian; Laconian; Etrusco-Corinthian; Attic black-figure; Boeotian and Etruscan black-figure; Attic red-figure and white-ground; Lucanian; Campanian and Sicilian red-figure; Apulian or Gnathian; Italian or Etruscan overpainted vases; and West Slope. This is an excellent teaching collection and a visual reminder that every vase contributes to the archaeological record.

Each catalogue entry follows the CVA format, giving provenance, bibliography, dimensions and condition, technical features, full descriptions, classification/attribution, date, and comments. The comments are particularly extensive and reflect the author’s desire to communicate as much information as possible to the reader. This excellent text will be immensely useful to everyone interested in Greek vases. A brief summary of the collection, which reveals its breadth, follows.

  1. Plates 1 and 2 show an East Greek aryballos with relief decoration in diamond shapes and an Ionian or East Greek perfume pot in the shape of a cockle shell.
  2. Plates 3–21 are Corinthian vases (Early to Late). Notable are the round aryballoi, one with a siren (fig. 8), another with four warriors (pl. 9). Other shapes include a neck amphora with animal friezes (pls. 10–12.1) and a powder pyxis with ornament (pl. 15).
  3. Plate 22 is the single Laconian representative: a round black-glazed aryballos.
  4. Plates 23–5 are Etrusco-Corinthian: a pointed aryballos and alabastra with ornamental decoration.
  5. Plates 26–56 are Attic black-figure vases, showing a good combination of shape and figural decoration. The neck amphora by the Red-Line Painter (pls. 26–9) depicts Athena in a chariot wheeling around on side A and a seated woman and a man on side B. Other entries include a cup by the Dot-Ivy Painter (pls. 37–9) with Dionysos, Silens, and a maenad. An unattributed stemless cup (pl. 40) has an elegant hound in the tondo. A lekythos by the Gela Painter (pls. 43–5) shows two hunters on horseback accompanied by eager hounds. An odd mythological combination appears on a lekythos from the Class of Athens 581 (ii) (pl. 47): Cerberus and Sisyphos (discussion on 84).
  6. Plates 57–62 show Boeotian and Etruscan black-figure—the Boeotian is ornamental, the one Etruscan vase and a neck amphora are decorated with two youths.
  7. Plates 63–96 are Attic red-figure vases. A lekythos by the Painter of Palermo 4 (pl. 63) shows Athena in full Gigantomachy pose, but no giant. Plates 64–7 illustrate a handsome column krater by the Nausicaa Painter with the Dioskouroi on horseback. The amusing bell krater by the Dinos Painter (pls. 71–5) depicts a bathing nymph accompanied by two ducks and surprised by four silens. The unusual kantharoid vase with a woman on either side (pls. 76, 77) has a molded satyr’s head on the handles just above the rim. The beautiful white-ground lekythos by the Achilles Painter (pls. 81–3) is a masterpiece: a woman holding a plemochoe faces another holding an alabastron in a quiet scene full of understated emotion. A late fifth-century unattributed bell krater (pls. 88–90) depicts two youthful riders, one on a white horse; on a fourth-century bell krater (pls. 91–3), also unattributed, Dionysos rides a white, winged, horned griffin, accompanied by a maenad and a satyr on foot.
  8. Plates 97 and 98 show the single Lucanian vase, a skyphos, which depicts a woman holding a mirror and Eros holding a taenia.
  9. Plates 99–110 are Apulian vases. Noteworthy is the fragment of a large amphora by the Darius Painter (pls. 99–102) that preserves a naiskos with a woman standing in it (the deceased), a seated woman holding a mirror and a box, and Eros flying.
  10. Plates 111–14 are Campanian vases. Of interest is the neck amphora by the LNO Painter (pls. 113, 114), which depicts a woman and a youth flanking a stele on one side and three standing women on the other. I am not sure why the tomb cult scene is designated side B and the three women side A; it should be the opposite. The Sicilian, Apulian Gnathian, and Italic or Etruscan vases (pls. 115–19) are modest pieces.

The University Museum has only four vases (pls. 120–23): an Attic red-figure oinochoe by the Fat Boy Painter with three youths; an Apulian Gnathian pelike with two white doves; an Apulian or Campanian black-glazed guttus; and a Hellenistic West Slope type neck amphora.

The fascicle concludes with four indices: “Inventory Numbers”; “Painters, Workshops, Stylistic Groups and Classes”; “Principal Subjects, Motifs and Patterns”; and “Graffiti and Dipinti.” There is also a list of figures in the text.

The text of this CVA is exemplary, but this reviewer has a strong criticism about the illustrations. In no way do they measure up to the standards set by recent CVA fascicles. There are very few illustrations in color, and most of these have glares (e.g., pls. 26, 27, 43, 64, 65, 71–5, 88, 91); so do many of the dull black-and-white photographs. Most of them also look like they were made before the advent of the polarizing lens that eliminates glare. In this era of superb digital color photography, there is no excuse for this, certainly not the poor one used here: that to reduce publication costs, a CD-ROM containing all the vases in color is attached to the inside of the back cover. CD-ROMs damage easily, are often misplaced, and are time consuming to consult. One hopes that this is not the coming attraction in future fascicles of the CVA.

Mary B. Moore

Book Review of Corpus vasorum antiquorum. Poland 11. Krakow 1: Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology 1 and Jagiellonian University Museum, by Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka

Reviewed by Mary B. Moore

American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 119, No. 1 (January 2015)

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