What does “me graphsen” mean?

Art

Me Graphsen” (με γραφσεν) literally means, “wrote/drew me” in Attic Greek. From grapho (γραφω), meaning to write or to draw/paint. From this same word we get other common English words such as graph, graphic, calligraphy (meaning beautiful writing), geography (literally meaning earth writing), biography (life writing), lithography (stone writing), and many others.

In ancient Greece, craftsmen (potters and painters in particular) would sign their work with their name, followed by me graphsen, (This phrase was commonly used by the painter of Greek pottery), or the more common, me poiesen (με ποιησεν, meaning so-and-so made me, used to denote the potter). The statement, spoken in the voice of the art itself, implies that the art spoke for its creator.

As an artist, a writer and a lover of mythology, I chose this statement as the title of this blog to represent the conglomerate of my creative passions and pursuits- things I’ve made, my writing, and my drawings and paintings. Read my Artist Statement here.

In the fine art department at Brigham Young University-Idaho, I took a few ceramics classes. These are some images of one of my projects. This was one of my favorite assignments in which we were to recreate a historical piece or technique. Because of my passion for Greek mythology, I chose to recreate a lekythos (ληκυθος), which is a cylindrical-shaped vessel used for storing olive oil. In the images you can see both my potter’s signature and my painter’s signature.

 

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