Naiskos

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Grave shrine from the Kerameikos: Aristonautes as warrior, ca. 330–310 B.C. marble, h. 2.91m.

The naiskos (pl.: naiskoi; Greek: ναΐσκος, diminutive of ναός "temple") is a small temple in classical order with columns or pillars and pediment. Often applied as an artificial motif, it is not rare in ancient art. It also found in classical architecture, particularly in the funeral architecture of the ancient Attic Cemeteries as grave reliefs or shrines with statues like the example of Kerameikos in Athens and in the black-figured and red-figured pottery of Ancient Greece at the Loutrophoros and the Lekythos. Although such naiskoi often draw portraits of men who died, they lack columns and are properly "grave stelae" in English-language scholarship. There also exist naiskos-type figurines or other types of temples formed in terracotta; examples abound at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The naiskos everywhere has a religious background, relating especially to Greek funerary cult. A similar style, called the Aedicula, is observed in Roman art.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Magdalene Söldner, "Naiskoi für Menschen. Eine heroisierende Fiktion im unteritalischen Vasenbild," in Christine Schmitz, Anja Bettenworth (ed.), Menschen - Heros - Gott: Weltentwürfe und Lebensmodelle im Mythos der Vormoderne (Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009), 35-52.

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