A convention of metamorphosis in Greek art: (plate VIII)

Journal of Hellenic Studies 106:182-183 (1986)
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Abstract

As part of his recent study of ‘Narration and allusion in Archaic Greek Art’, Professor A. M. Snodgrass has cause to treat of the famous Attic black-figure vase which depicts Circe handing a cup containing her sinister brew to one of Odysseus’ sailors. She is stirring it with her wand the while, and yet this sailor, and three companions besides, have already been transformed into various animals. Professor Snodgrass has no difficulty in explaining the apparent simultaneity of separate events here and elsewhere on this vase-painting as relating to what he calls the ‘synoptic’ technique of early Greek Art, that familiar device whereby several successive episodes in a narrative are presented together within the same picture. And he is inclined towards a similar line of explanation as regards the partial transformation of Odysseus’ ἑταῖροι: the artist ‘wished to express the passage of time by indicating a half-way stage in the transformation’.

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Aktaion and a lost 'Bath of Artemis'.Lamar Ronald Lacy - 1990 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 110:26-42.

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