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The flower, a sign of pardon in attic ceramics





In attic ceramic imaging, there are often figures, fatal or divines, male or female that hold, breathe or offer flowers. The latter are not merely meaningless ornaments. They are signs of a semantic burden which, far from being immutable, changes according to the narrative context of the image. Thus, as a modulation element, the floral sign materialises the Greek concept of Charis in its dual dimension, that of a person’s physical grace (beauty, youth, desirability) and that of pardon made in an exchange of any kind (erotic or cultuel). However, the flower often has an additional dimension: it is an odorous sign which communicates to the viewer of the image the olfactory impression of an object, person, place or situation.

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