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Faculty of Classics


Ancient Mediterranean Painting between “Classical” and “Non-Classical”

Craven Seminar 2018


Organised by

Dr Tiziana D’Angelo and Dr Nigel Spivey


17-18 May 2018

Faculty of Classics (Room G.21)

University of Cambridge


Archaeological discoveries over the last 100 years have radically transformed our knowledge and understanding of ancient Mediterranean wall painting, and have shed new light on cultures and societies within and beyond the Classical world. This seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach to ancient painting and places it in a complex sociocultural context which crosses the chronological and geographical boundaries of the Greco-Roman world. Looking at a wide range of textual and visual media, including murals, panel paintings, painted stelae, mosaics, philosophical and art-historical treatises, papyri, and drawings, the aim of the seminar is to explore the ways in which paintings were created, used, viewed and discussed by different cultures and societies in the ancient Mediterranean. Our principal focus is on how the traces of ancient painting can help us to understand artistic and cultural connections across space and time. We also want to examine how painting contributed to shape the way in which cultural values and ideas were produced, perceived and transmitted.

What impact did Bronze Age paintings have on the later artistic achievements of Classical Greece? How did Greco-Roman literature and philosophy rationalize the art of painting and to what extent did they inform contemporary and later approaches to painting? What can we learn from the eclecticism of Roman painting? What is distinctive about the iconography, style and technique of wall paintings created ‘outside’ or ‘on the periphery’ of the Greco-Roman world? What did they contribute to the development of Greco-Roman painting and art more in general? What impact did the re-discovery of Classical painting have on modern culture? To what extent are the notions of “Classical” and “non-Classical” useful when thinking about and analysing these works of art?



Faculty of Classics, Room G.21


Thursday 17 May


9:00-9:30 Coffee and Registration

9:30-9:45 Welcome

Tiziana D’Angelo and Nigel Spivey (University of Cambridge)


Session 1 – Beyond Greek Painting

Chair: Robin Osborne (University of Cambridge)


9:45-10:45 Thinking in concepts: decoration and space in the Aegean Bronze Age

Ute Günkel-Maschek (Heidelberg University / University of Birmingham)


10:45-11:45 Anatolian tomb paintings between East and West

Latife Summerer (Kastamonu University)


11:45-12:00 Coffee Break


12:00-13:00 Reflections of Macedonian painting in Italy

Olga Palagia (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)


13:00-14:30 Lunch (Darwin College)


Session 2 – Rethinking Classical Painting in Ancient Italy

Chair: Nigel Spivey (University of Cambridge)


14:30-15:30 The Classical style in Etruscan painting

Maurizio Harari (University of Pavia)


15:30-16:30 Classical or magical? The Tomb of the Diver and ancient Greek painting

Gabriel Zuchtriegel (Archaeological Park of Paestum)


16:30-17:00 Coffee Break


17:00-18:00 Dying like a Greek? Hellenism, Romanization and local identity in South Italian funerary painting

Tiziana D’Angelo (University of Cambridge)


19:15 Drinks and Dinner (Emmanuel College – for speakers and chairs)


Friday 18 May


9:00-9:15 Coffee


Session 3 – Images to Ideas / Ideas to Images in Roman Painting

Chair: Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (University of Cambridge)


9:15-10:15 Synkrisis on Pompeian walls: on modes of transmission in Roman painting

Katharina Lorenz (University of Giessen)


10:15-11:15 Ruminations on the ‘real' in Late Roman iconography

Susanna McFadden (Bryn Mawr College)


11:15-11:30 Coffee Break


11:30-12:30 The Pompeian Mosaic of the Philosophers

David Sedley (University of Cambridge)


12:30-13:45 Lunch (Darwin College)


Session 4 – Drawing from Antiquity to Modernity

Chair: Caroline Vout (University of Cambridge)


13:45-14:45 Line(n). Artistic practice and drawing in Mediterranean contexts

Gianfranco Adornato (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)


14:45-15:45 The ‘dreams of painting’: the reception and debate around ancient painting from Raphael to Winckelmann

Adriano Aymonino (University of Buckingham)


15:45-16:00 Concluding remarks

Tiziana D’Angelo and Nigel Spivey (University of Cambridge)



Thursday, 17 May, 2018 - 09:00 to Friday, 18 May, 2018 - 16:00
Event location: 
Room G.21

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