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Seeing and Hearing Divine Music in Ancient Greek Art

Fri, 2/23 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm · 209 Scheide Caldwell House

Carolyn M. Laferrière, Princeton University Art Museum

This talk examines Athenian vase-paintings and reliefs that depict the gods most frequently shown as musicians. Drawing on recent work in sensory studies, Carolyn argues that images could visually suggest the sounds of the gods’ music. This representational strategy, whereby sight and sound are blurred, conveys the “unhearable” nature of their music: because it cannot be physically heard, it falls to the human imagination to provide its sounds and awaken viewers’ multisensory engagement with the images.

Carolyn M. Laferrière is the Assistant Curator of Ancient Mediterranean Art at the Princeton University Art Museum. She is the author of Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art: Seeing the Songs of the Gods, and is the Associate Editor for Greek and Roman Musical Studies.

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