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Three - Painting with Music

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2024

Carolyn Laferrière
Affiliation:
Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
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Summary

Chapter three turns to scenes of Apollo Kitharoidos, the god most associated in contemporary scholarship with musical performance. In order to analyze how the surviving representations make visible Apollo’s music to the ancient viewer and how the god’s music is shown to have an effect on both his human and divine audience, Laferrière examines black- and red-figure vase-paintings that depict the god playing his lyre. Apollo’s powerfully affective music informs the scene’s composition, whether it is through the physical position of the figures, who direct their attention to the god’s music, or through the repetition of similar lines and forms among Apollo, his instrument, his audience, and the plants and animals that accompany him. She argues that the formal aspects of the composition can be discussed in terms of rhythmoi, symmetria, and harmonia, which are all integral concepts within ancient discussions of music and art theory. In making the sounds of Apollo’s music visible in this way, Laferrière shows that Apollo’s music has a unifying and harmonizing effect on those who listen to it, so that the music he plays both embodies and creates the harmonia with which he is associated.

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Chapter
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Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
Seeing the Songs of the Gods
, pp. 115 - 157
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Painting with Music
  • Carolyn Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
  • Book: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009315906.004
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  • Painting with Music
  • Carolyn Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
  • Book: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009315906.004
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Painting with Music
  • Carolyn Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
  • Book: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009315906.004
Available formats
×