Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Return of Hephaestus

 Hephaestus 
also spelt Hephaistos
is usually depicted  as a mature man garbed as a smith as in this vase painting.


There is however another theme used in Greek art called the Return of Hephaestus in which Dionysos is persuading a very young Hephaestus to  return to Olympus.



Some scholars believe the prescence of satyrs in these paintings means that there may have been a reactment of the return as part of Dionysiac rituals and that it was a theme for Satyr plays that are now missing.

i am inclined to believe both explanations are plausible.

In an era when there were no photography or print making I can see merchants and other people bringing home from Athens ceramics as gifts and saying ... and the procession looked like this ... while rotating their prize souvenir to show the images.

These elaborate ceramics may have functioned as a memory or educational aid?