Capturing Troy

The Narrative Functions of Landscape in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Art
Guy Hedreen
An investigation into how imagery on Greek vases is or is not used as narrative, and the extent to which visual imagery depends upon literary sources


Those in the field of classical art will appreciate this investigation of the most common remnant of ancient Greek society available to the modern scholar, the painted vase. Guy Hedreen discusses how the imagery on Greek vases is only sometimes used as a narrative device, and delves further into the extent to which visual imagery depends upon literary sources. With the backdrop of one of the world's earliest, and some would argue greatest stories ever told, the sacking of Troy, Hedreen brings the reader into one of the most current and persistent topics in the art world: Narrative vs. Art. Employing a wide range of stunning visual imagery to illustrate his points, this insightful original text, Capturing Troy is a valuable new contribution to the subject, accessible to the learned scholar and beginning student alike.

Guy Michael Hedreen is Professor of Art, Williams College.

Praise / Awards

  • "What Hedreen seeks to show in his subtle analysis is that the images reveal more than we have realised. The long-standing assumption that vase-painters were closely dependent on literary versions of the stories, whether epic, lyric, or tragic, has been waning fast, and the author is at pains to deal it a deathblow. . . . He warns us against assuming that the introduction of new elements heralds the influence of new poetic treatments; he prefers to see these elements as a desire on the part of the painters to make the scenes more intelligible and effective. The author's treatment of the individual incidents gradually builds into a more general interpretation of the Trojan War as a whole, its genesis, and its inevitable outcome."
    —Brian A. Sparkes, University of Southampton, Minerva, November-December 2002
  • ". . . provides a partially independent visual tradition of the Trojan War, with important repercussions for Greek iconography overall."
    —Religious Studies Review
  • "It was a joy to examine the images in detail with the author and to contemplate the significance of the iconographical details. Hedreen's analysis of the multiple functions of architectural and landscape features sets the standard for the future discussion of these elements in our field."
    —Timothy McNiven, The Ohio State University

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 312pp.
  • 86 photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2002
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11163-3

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.