Record number 05/2141
Author Christie, James, the younger, 1773 - 1831
TitleDisquisitions Upon The Greek Vases, And Their Probable Connection With The Shows Of The Eleusinian And Other Mysteries. By James Christie, A Member Of The Society Of Dilettanti.
ImprintLondon:: Published By Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, And Green, Paternoster-Row., 1825.
Physical Descriptionxii [i.e. xiv], 146 p., 16 pl. (pl. 12, 15 are fold.): illus.; 278 mm. (Quarto.)
Physical Description NoteBetween p.x and p.[xi] is inserted an unnumbered leaf listing 'Errata' on its recto. Some copies are without this leaf.
Content Format Note[T.p., add.t.p.] - Preface - Errata - Contents - [Text, with pl.]; [colophon].
Summary NoteThe first, limited edition of this work had been printed anonymously for private circulation in 1806, under the title, A disquisition upon Etruscan vases; displaying their probable connection with the shows at Eleusis, and the Chinese Feast of Lanterns. Christie followed this with An essay on that earliest species of idolatry, the worship of the elements (1814), and in 1817 with Essay on the mysteries of Eleusis by M. Ouvaroff. Translated ... With observations by J. Christie. This 1825 publication is a revised and enlarged edition of the 1806 work.

The prevalence of mythology in ancient Greek art had been noted by Winckelmann; and Hancarville had also stressed the religious origins of art. (In his Preface Christie states that it was Charles Towneley and R.P. Knight who had 'first observed a mystic theology in works of Grecian art' and 'furnished D'Hancarville with a great part of [his] materials'.)

As well as investigating the possible connection between some images on ancient painted vases with Greek mystery religions Christie also suggests that ancient vase-painters made use of transparencies, and in his Appendix offers a possible classification of ancient Greek vase-types.

The plates show representations of myths, taken from vases and gems.
Responsibility NoteMost plates are signed as drawn by Tendi and engraved or etched by Ant. Cardon (or 'Cardon bruxellensis'); but pl. 7, 14, 16 are signed by the engraver Cardon only, and pl. 5, 9, 13 are unsigned.

The headpieces of chapters 1, 16 are signed as drawn by A. Tendi and engraved by Ant. Cardon; the add. t.p. vignette, the illustration on p.98 and the headpieces of chapters 2,3 and appendices 1,2 are unsigned.

The printer is named on the t.p. verso and in the colophon: 'London: Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square.'
SubjectEleusinian Mysteries - Mysteries, religious - Afterlife - Mythology, Greek - Cultus - Symbolism - Iconography
Vase paintings - Vases, Greek - Greece - Italy - History
Art history - Interpretation - Iconology - Great Britain - 19th century
Name as Subject Demeter (Greek deity)
Persephone (Greek deity)
ReferencesRoyal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, I (1994), no. 633.
Copy NotePrelim. inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Library of the Royal Academy, by the Author.'
Binding Note19th-century black calf, upper and lower covers having gilt borders; spine lettered 'Christie On The Greek Vases' and 'Worship Of The Elements'. Bound with one other.
ProvenancePresented by the author in 1830 (see RA Council Minutes, VII, 361).
Contributors Christie, James, the younger, 1773 - 1831, previous owner, donor
Spottiswoode, Andrew, 1787 - 1866, printer
Spottiswoode, Robert, fl. 1807-1832
Tendi, A., draughtsman
Cardon, Antoine, 1772 - 1813, engraver
Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green. publisher
A. and R. Spottiswoode (London). printer
MARC Record view