Housewives, Hetairai, and the Ambiguity of Genre in Attic Vase Painting.
A hydria by the Harrow Painter provides an opportunity to revisit the concept of genre and the depiction of women in classical Athenian vase painting. Scholars cannot agree on the social status of the female figure: hetaira or housewife? In this paper, I show that the criteria used to refute a “housewife” identification can be dismantled and that an oikos-centered interpretation is plausible. This does not, however, exclude the possibility of multiple readings; the ambiguity of this and other “genre scenes” is likely a deliberate strategy intended to attract the widest possible audience.
Classical Association of Canada
Bundrick, S.D. (2012). Housewives, Hetairai, and the Ambiguity of Genre in Attic Vase Painting. Phoenix 66(1/2), 11-35. doi: 10.7834/phoenix.66.1-2.0011.
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