Sir John Beazley's Notebooks Go Online

More than 150 notebooks on Greek vases belonging to Sir John Beazley (1885-1970) have now been digitized and are freely available online: Browse the Notebooks

The notebooks form part of the Beazley Archive, which is held at the Classical Art Research Centre (CARC) in Oxford. Comprising mainly pencil sketches and annotations, the manuscripts record Beazley's impressions of vase-paintings as he travelled around the world's collections of Attic pottery. They were mainly written in the early part of his career, between around 1908 and 1930. Beazley's little known notes and drawings offer the best evidence of his method of 'Morellian' analysis as he worked to attribute vase-paintings to the hands of individual artists. They give an extraordinary insight into his connoisseurship and record his impressions of pots which are widely dispersed and in some cases can no longer be located. Work will continue to study the notes and integrate some of them into the main Beazley Archive Pottery Database (BAPD). Also included in the project is a notebook of Nicolas Plaoutine, documenting nineteenth-century sales of vases.

CARC welcomes feedback and insights into the digitized notebooks from users (contact: carc@classics.ox.ac.uk). The notebooks themselves, together with several hundreds of thousands of other manuscripts and photographs from the Beazley Archive, can be consulted at the Centre's study-room in Oxford.

In The News: Read about the Beazley Notebooks Project in Minerva magazine, May/June 2013.

Below: Beazley's sketches of an amphora attributed to the Kleophrades Painter (early 5th century BC) together with a photograph of the vase.

Beazley sketch Photograph of Vase attirbuted to the Kleophrades Painter