The development of geometric pictorial narrative as discourse


Art History



Document Type

Book Chapter


Mycenaean pottery, Mycenaean vase-painting, Greek vase-painting, Cyprus, Geometric vases, 900-700 B.C.


Previous studies of the development of narrative in the Geometric period have revolved around questions regarding the existence of mythological narratives and the artistic origins of narrative images. Discoveries of new images from the 10th through the early 8th cen- turies during the past few decades have complicated these discus- sions about the development of narrative and pushed back the date of the earliest representations of human action. By considering nar- rative as a discourse and analyzing the circumstances of artistic production, viewer response, viewing context, and visual language, it is possible to suggest that narrative art in Crete and Athens were independent phenomena that met local needs in distinct ways.

Published in

Pictorial pursuits: figurative painting on Mycenaean and Geometric pottery. Papers from two seminars at the Swedish Institute at Athens in 1999 and 2001.

Citation/Other Information

Stansbury-O'Donnell, Mark D. The Development of Geometric Pictorial Narrative as Discourse,” in E. Rystedt and B. Wells, eds., Pictorial Pursuits. Figurative Painting on Mycenaean and Geometric Pottery. Papers from Two Seminars at the Swedish Institute at Athens in 1999 and 2001, Skrifter Utgivna av Svenska Institutet I Athen, 4°, LIII (Stockholm: Paul Åströms Förlag, 2006) 247-253.