Tyler Jo Smith, University of Virginia:
Religious Drama: Sacred Space on Ancient Greek Vases and Reliefs
When we look at a vase-painting, votive relief, or other artwork, we should ask how the spaces of public religious worship are being articulated visually. Is it possible not only to identify the activity taking place, but also the location of that activity? What are the sites or moments of worship that artists choose most frequently, and how can we be certain of what we see? This seminar will revisit the ancient Greek sanctuary as a venue for religious practice and one that artists must have been at least partially aware of in order to communicate religious subject matter. In order to create that backdrop, it is necessary to identify the major elements of the sanctuary with particular attention to particular details show to us by artists (i.e. altar, temple, statues, and other ‘permanent’ and portable features). The visual mechanisms of archaic and classical Greek art found in this 'religious' iconography will be placed within the broader context of performance and the importance of space and interaction for both artist and viewer.