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Understanding Greek Vases: A Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques

Andrew J. Clark, Maya Elston, and Mary Louise Hart

What is a pyxis? Who was the Amasis Painter? How did Greek vases get their distinctive black and orange colors? This richly illustrated book offers definitions and descriptions of these and many other Greek vase shapes, painters, and techniques encountered in museum exhibitions and publications on ancient Greek ceramics. An essay on how to look at Greek vases and another on the conservation of ancient ceramics lay the ground for the succinct and readable explanations of the terms most frequently encountered by museum-goers.

The concise definitions are divided into two sections, one on potters and painters and another on vase shapes and technical terms relating to the construction and decoration of the vases. Featuring numerous color illustrations of Greek vases, many from the J. Paul Getty Museum's collection, Understanding Greek Vases is an indispensable guide for students, scholars, and anyone wishing to obtain a greater understanding of Greek ceramics and a heightened enjoyment of them.

Andrew J. Clark is an independent scholar specializing in the study of Greek ceramics. Maya Elston is associate curator of antiquities conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Mary Louise Hart is assistant curator in the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

"Beautiful and plentiful reproductions add richly to the scholarly text."
—Library Journal

"Clearly written and beautifully illustrated with high-quality photos."


168 pages
6 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches
73 color and 89 b/w illustrations
2 line drawings
1 map
ISBN 978-0-89236-599-9

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum
Series: Looking At