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Open AccessArticle

Three Women Sharing a Mantle in 6th Century BCE Greek Vase-Painting: Plurality, Unity, Family, and Social Bond

Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
Arts 2019, 8(4), 144;
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 23 September 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 26 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 1))
The motif of three women sharing the same mantle is pictured on about a dozen vases dating from the first half of the sixth century BCE. Among these vases, the so-called “François Vase” and a dinos signed by Sophilos (now in London, British Museum) are of particular interest. The wedding of Thetis and Peleus is pictured on both vases. This theme is well-adapted to the representation of a procession of deities in which the Charites, Horai, Moirai, and Muses take part. The main feature of these deities is a shared mantle, which covers and assembles them, emphasizing that these deities are plural by definition. The main study on this iconographical theme remains that by Buchholz, who documented most of the depictions of the “shared-mantle” in ancient Greek vase-painting and small terracottas. The shared-mantle motif has been interpreted successively as a reference to the sacred peplos (in relation to the wedding), a simplification from the painter to avoid painting all the mantles, a sign of emotional/sexual union, a religious gesture, and a depiction of choruses. The present study aims to consider in more detail the “shared-mantle” as an iconographic sign that involves the idea of community, shared identity, and emotional bond. View Full-Text
Keywords: iconography; Greece; vase-painting; wedding; mantle; chorus iconography; Greece; vase-painting; wedding; mantle; chorus
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Toillon, V. Three Women Sharing a Mantle in 6th Century BCE Greek Vase-Painting: Plurality, Unity, Family, and Social Bond. Arts 2019, 8, 144.

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