The Amasis Painter is an Athenian black-figure painter active ca. 560-515 BCE. The name derives from the potter ("epoiesen")
who signs as Amasis. Scholars debate if the painter and potter are one in the same. The painter sometimes combines the full
black-figure technique with outline and at times employs a minituristic style. Shapes include different amphora types, lekythos,
oinochoe, and alabastron. Subjects are Dionysos and his followers, other gods, draped figures, warriors, and revelers ("komasts").
Main findspots are Vulci and other sites in Etruria, Athens (Acropolis, Agora, Kerameikos), and Naukratis.
Aryballos is the conventional name for an ovoid or ball-shaped oil pot with one or two handles. Used by athletes, it can be
footed or footless. Some aryballoi are potted in the shape of a head, animal, or bird.
The pointed aryballos follows the Middle Protocorinthian ovoid aryballos. In form it is taller and more top-heavy than its
precursor, and it first appears in Late Protocorinthian before being replaced by a new, rounded aryballos.
The bell-krater is an innovation belonging to the red-figure technique. The body rises from a low disk-foot or sometimes a
modified disk-foot into the hint of a stem before expanding into the shape of an inverted bell with a mildly flaring mouth
with a torus lip. It has sturdy, horizontal, cylindrical handles that are located high up on the body opposite one another
and are slightly upturned.
Andokides is an Athenian potter active ca. 530 BCE. Signing as potter ("epoiesen") on a number of vases, the potter is associated
with several painters: the Andokides Painter, Psiax, and Epiktetos. Shapes are mainly cups, the amphora, and hydria. Subjects
include Dionysos, Herakles, and Athena as well as athletes, warriors, and the symposion. Examples have been discovered in
The Antimenes Painter is an Athenian black-figure painter active ca. 530-510 BCE. The name derives from the inscription “kalos
Antimenes” (“Antimenes is beautiful”) appearing on a hydria from Vulci (Leiden, (Rijksmuseum II167 [PC63]; BAPD 320011) showing
men washing in a fountain-house. Shapes are mostly the hydria and neck amphora. The painter has a wide range of mythological
scenes, including Herakles, Dionysos, Amazons, Theseus and the Minotaur, and the Gigantomachy, as well as everyday scenes
of the fountain-house and olive picking. Most examples have been discovered in Vulci and Tarquinia.
Apulia (Italian: Puglia)[note 1] is a region of Italy in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the
Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. It was a major producer of Red Figure
pottery during the
Meaning 'wine-skin,' the term askos is conventionally (and erroneously) used for a small, flat vase, with narrow sloping spout
and handle arching over body. A variant exists in the form of a double-askos.
The calyx-krater is one of the largest Attic vases, and is reminiscent of a bell-shaped flower. It is named for its convex
lower body that has the configuration of the calyx of a flower, while the flaring upper body is suggestive of the bell-shaped
corolla. It has large, robust, upturned handles situated opposite one another on the cul.The calyx-krater appears in Attic
black-figure after the middle of the 6th c. BCE and is a popular shape until the end of red-figure.
The Berlin Painter (active c. 490s-c. 460s B.C.) is the conventional name given to an Attic Greek vase-painter who is widely
regarded as a rival to the Kleophrades Painter, among the most talented vase painters of the early 5th century B.C.
Black-figure is a dark-on-light technique used for figure decoration on a wide variety of shapes. It was invented in Corinth
ca. 700 BCE and was used in Athens by ca. 630 BCE. The decoration is created by applying silhouetted figures (see Silhouette)
in clay slip to the surface of the vessel, incising linear details, and sometimes adding color before firing (see Added Color;
see Added Red; see Added White). Vases are fired in three stages, resulting in black figures (human and animal) against an
untreated (or lightly treated) lighter colored background. The creation of the black-figure technique has been attributed
to the influence of minor arts from the Near East, most likely ivories and metalwork. Regional versions of the black-figure
technique were also used in Laconia, Boeotia, East Greece, northern Greece, West Greece, and Etruria.
The British Museum is a museum in London dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some
8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating
and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.
The Type B exaleiptron is the later of the two types and is differentiated by its tall, medium-wide stem terminating in a
disc-like foot. Authorities do not fully agree on the name of this vase and it is also called ‘plemochoё’ and (incorrectly)
‘kothon.’ For further information on terminology, see 'exaleiptron.'
The term kothon is used for a variety of different shapes. Some equate it (wrongly) with the exaleiptron, while others use
the word to refer to a deep one-handled drinking cup. The vessel is sometimes ribbed and was carried by soldiers and travellers.
The word kothon can also refer to the pilgrim flask shape.
Eucharides Painter is the common nickname of an ancient Greek artist who decorated but did not sign attic vases. Neither his
real name, nor the dates of his birth and death are known. Presumably this artist was a pupil of the Nikoxenos painter.
Taking its name from the Greek 'hydor,' meaning 'water,' the hydria is a water-pot for the fountain. It has a capacious oval
body, two horizontal handles, and one vertical handle. This type of vase was manufactured in bronze, in coarseware, and in
fineware. See also kalpis.
Exekias is an Athenian potter ("epoiesen") and painter ("egrapsen") active from ca. 545-530 BCE. The painter’s work is generally
considered to represent the apex of the black-figure technique, characterized by elegant draughtsmanship and intricately detailed
ornamentation. Closely associated with Group E, Exekias mainly decorates the amphora, but also the pinax (plaque) and cups.
Among his best known works are Ajax and Achilles, Achilles and Penthesilea, the Suicide of Ajax, and Dionysos reclining in
a boat in possible reference to a Homeric Hymn. The plaques depict scenes connected to the funeral and perhaps lined the inside
of the tomb. Main findspots are Athens (Acropolis, Agora), Italy (mostly Etruria), as well as Samos, Miletos, Berezan, and
Archaic denotes Greek vases and other arts produced from ca. 600-480 BCE. It thus falls between the Orientalizing (ca. 700-600
BCE) and Classical (ca. 480-323 BCE) stylistic periods. The Archaic is sometimes divided into Early and Late (or “Ripe”) phases
according to region, and its date range is sometimes pushed back to ca. 700 BCE based on certain archaeological factors. The
term applies to the decorated vases of Athens, Corinth, Laconia, Boeotia, and other regions of ancient Greece. The main vase-painting
technique in Athens is black-figure (invented in Corinth late 7th c. BCE), followed by red-figure (invented in Athens ca.
530-520 BCE). Major Athenian vase-painters from the time include Lydos, Amasis Painter, Exekias, Euphronios, Brygos Painter,
and Berlin Painter.
Group E is a large group of Athenian black-figure painters active ca. 560-540 BCE. The name derives from a close association
to Exekias, who signs a Group E vase as potter ("epoiesen"). Group E painted the pelike, different amphora types, the lekythos,
and kraters. Subjects include the Birth of Athena, Herakles, Amazons, Theseus and the Minotaur, as well as athletes, the symposion,
and funerary scenes. Findspots are Athens (Acropolis, Agora, Kerameikos), Chalkidike, Vulci, Spina, North Africa, and Russia.
The Harvard Art Museums is part of Harvard University and comprise three museums: the Fogg Museum (established in 1895), the
Busch-Reisinger Museum (established in 1903), and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum (established in 1985) and four research centers:
the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis (founded in 1958), the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art (founded in 2002),
the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies (founded in 1928). The three
museums that comprise the Harvard Art Museums were initially integrated into a single institution under the name Harvard University
Art Museums in 1983. University was dropped from the institutional name in 2008.
Incised (or incision) refers to lines cut into the surface of a vessel using a sharp tool. It is primarily employed to create
details on human and animal figures in the black-figure technique (see Black-figure), but can also be used to make inscriptions.
Incisions are applied when the vase has reached its leather-hard stage prior to being fired, although sometimes lines were
The so-called Kalpis or Continuous-curve Hydria differs from the Shoulder Hydria in several ways: the neck, shoulder, and
body form a continuous curve; its vertical handle is cylindrical and is rooted on the neck rather than on the lip; its foot
shape is more varied; its rim is concave on top; and it is usually smaller. It was popular between the end of the sixth through
the fourth century B.C.
Kleitias is an Athenian black-figure painter active ca. 575-550 BCE who signs his name as painter (“egrapsen”). His best-known
work is a volute-krater known as the François Vase, which was found in Chuisi (Etruria) and is now in Florence (Archaeological
Museum 4209; BAPD 300000).It displays a series of mythological scenes and a large number of inscriptions. Other vases attributed
to the painter portray Odysseus, warriors, Amazons, dancing youths, and maidens. Other shapes include the Siana cup, Little
Master cup, skyphos, and hydria. Findspots include Athens (Acropolis, Agora), Samos (Heraion), Naukratis, Etruria, and Cyrene.
Kleophrades signed cups as potter (epoiesen 'made it') that were decorated by a variety of painters. Other vases have been
attributed to him on the basis of style. He was the son of the potter Amasis (q.v.).
The Kleophrades Painter is the name given to the anonymous red-figure Athenian vase painter, who was active from approximately
510 – 470 BCE and whose work, considered amongst the finest of the red figure style, is identified by its stylistic traits.
The Leagros Group is a group of black-figure painters active ca. 520-500 BCE. The name derives from the inscription “Leagros
kalos” (“Leagros is beautiful”) on several vases. Painters identified with the group include the Acheloos Painter, Chiusi
Painter, and Daybreak Painter. Also associated are the Antiope Group, Group of Würzburg 210, and Group of Vatican 424. Several
hundred vessels are attributed to the group, including shapes like the neck amphora, hydria, lekythos, krater, and Panathenaic
amphora. Favorite scenes of the group are Herakles and the Trojan War, as well as Dionysian themes. Findspots are Vulci and
other Etruscan sites, southern Italy and Sicily, and the Athenian Agora.
Lekythos' is a general word used to denote an oil bottle. The term is now conventionally used for tall and squat shapes with
a foot, a single vertical handle, a narrow neck and a small mouth. Sometimes the basic form is fashioned into fancy shapes
such as an acorn or an almond, or into a human figure. Some carry appliqué designs.
Lydos is an Athenian black-figure painter active ca. 560-540 BCE. The name derives from vases signed as “ho Lydos” (“the Lydian”),
such as a dinos from the Athenian Acropolis (Athens, National Museum Acr. 607; BAPD 310147) where he is signed as painter
("egrapsen"). Lydos painted a variety of large and small shapes, including the column krater, amphora, hydria, Siana cup,
cups of other types, and plates. Scenes include Herakles, Dionysos, Theseus, draped men, and the Trojan War. The vases have
been found primarily in Athens (Acropolis, Agora, Kerameikos), southern Italy, Etruscan sites, and Sicily.
Myson is an Athenian red-figure painter active ca. 500-475 BCE. The name derives from signatures as painter (“egrapsen”) and
potter (“epoiesen”) on a column krater from the Athenian Acropolis (Athens, National Museum Akr. 806; BAPD 202359) showing
Athena. Other shapes are the pelike, calyx krater, psykter, and oinochoe. Scenes include revelers (“komasts”), the symposion,
athletes, Dionysos and satyrs, Croesus seated on a pyre, Amazons, the Struggle for the Delphic Tripod, and other scenes with
Herakles. Some findspots are Athens (Acropolis, Agora, Kerameikos), Etruria (Vulci, Cerveteri), Orvieto, Falerii, Locri (south
Italy), and Kerch.
Nikosthenes is an Athenian potter active ca. 540-510 BCE. Signing a large number of vases as potter ("epoiesen"), Nikosthenes
is associated with Painter N and several other painters. Shapes include the Nikosthenic amphora (based on an Etruscan shape),
Nikosthenic pyxis, kyathos-dipper, skyphos, and psykter. Subjects include satyrs, Dionysos, warriors, revelers ("komasts"),
athletes, riders, and scenes with Athena. Most examples have been discovered in Etruria.
Athenian red-figure vase-painter whose name is unknown. Nevertheless consistent individual characteristics of style suggest
the existence of a unique artistic personality. Beazley called him the Nikosthenes Painter naming him after the potter Nikosthenes
who signed some of the vases he decorated.
The term 'oinochoe' means 'wine-pourer.' The wine jug is fashioned in many varieties (conical, concave, convex) but is usually
furnished with a single vertical handle. The mouth can be round, trefoil, or beak-shaped.
Onesimos is an Athenian red-figure painter active ca. 505-480 BCE, and associated with the Proto-Panaitian Group. The name
derives from a cup found at Vulci signed as painter (“egrapsen”) by Onesimos and as potter (“epoiesen”) by Euphronios (Paris,
Louvre G105; BAPD 203218) showing horsemen. The primary shape is the cup (kylix). Other shapes are the skyphos, plate, and
pyxis. Subjects include Theseus, Herakles, the Trojan War, the symposion, revelers (“komasts”), athletes, and nude females.
Some findspots are Etruria (Vulci, Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Chiusi, Orvieto), sites in southern Italy and Sicily, Athens (Acropolis,
Agora), and Naukratis.
Painter N is an Athenian black-figure painter connected to the workshop of the potter Nikosthenes and active ca. 540-520 BCE.
The Nikosthenic amphora was probably decorated by Painter N as well as the kyathos, cups, and psykter. Decorative subjects
include satyrs, Dionysos, warriors, revelers ("komasts"), athletes, riders, and scenes with Athena. Most have been discovered
Panathenaic amphorae are big, ovoid, lidded vases that were presented as prizes to winners of the Panathenaic Games, which
were held once every four years in Athens in honor of Athena, patroness of the city. They were filled with olive oil from
Athena's sacred trees. The series, presumed to date to the reorganization of the games about 560 BCE, was produced through
the Hellenistic period and beyond. The Panathenaic amphorae of the Classical period are of the finest quality construction.
Panathenaic amphorae were only decorated in the black-figure technique.
Classical denotes Greek vases and other arts produced from ca. 480-323 BCE. It thus falls between the Archaic (ca. 600-480
BCE) and Hellenistic (323-31 BCE) stylistic periods. These dates are based on two historical events: the Persian invasion
of Athens in 480 BCE and the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. Classical is often divided into the three phases of
Early, High, and Late, based on stylistic development. The main vase-painting techniques in Athens are red-figure and white-ground,
with black-figure still in use for the Panathenaic amphora. Major Athenian vase-painters from this time include the Pan Painter,
Niobid Painter, Achilles Painter, Polygnotos, and Eretria Painter.
Red-figure is a light-on-dark technique used for figure decoration on a wide variety of shapes. It was invented in Athens
ca. 530-520 BCE. Red-figure decoration is created by leaving figures and shapes in reserve (see Reserving) on the untreated
or lightly treated surface of the vessel, often outlining them. Linear details are then created using gloss, dilute gloss,
and relief lines. The areas outside the outlined figures are painted with clay slip. Vases are fired in three stages, resulting
in reserved red figures (human and animal) against a black background. The red-figure technique was first used by the Andokides
Painter (see Andokides Painter [Red-figure]; see Andokides Painter [Black-figure]), who is best known for bilingual vases
(vessels decorated with the same scene on both sides, one in red-figure and the other in black-figure).
Silhouette is used to describe figures or objects painted in solid black against a lighter colored background. In the black-figure
technique (see Black-figure), figures and objects are painted in silhouette before employing incision for details (see Incised).
Examples are also found in Geometric (see Geometric), Orientalizing (see Orientalizing), and red-figure vase-painting (see
Red-figure), as well as on Boeotian “geometricizing” vases.
The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology contains one of the most important collections of Greek antiquities in the United Kingdom.
The Museum forms part of the Department of Classics at the University of Reading and is situated on the university's Whiteknights
Campus, about two miles from the centre of the English town of Reading, Berkshire.
The EM IIA and IIB Vasiliki Ware, named for the Minoan site in eastern Crete, has mottled glaze effects, early experiments
with controlling color, but the elongated spouts drawn from the body and ending in semicircular spouts show the beginnings
of the tradition of Minoan elegance.
The white-ground technique refers to the application of a white clay slip on the surface of a vessel before adding figure
decoration. It is first found on some Geometric (see Geometric) and Orientalizing (see Orientalizing) vessels made in Athens
and Attica. Around 530 BCE, the technique appears on Athenian black-figure vases (see Black-figure), like those from the workshops
of Nikosthenes (see Nikosthenes), the Andokides Painter (see Andokides Painter [black-figure]), and Psiax (see Psiax), but
the inventor is uncertain. By the late 6th c. BCE, painters use the technique to decorate the black-figure lekythos and other
shapes. After ca. 480 BCE, the white-ground technique is used primarily for funerary subjects on the lekythos, and the figures
are painted in outline, semi-outline, and later polychrome. White-ground may have been inspired by stone vessels and has been
connected to wall and panel painting.
Euphronios is an Athenian red-figure painter active ca. 520-505 BCE, who signed as both painter (“egrapsen”) and potter (“epoiesen”).
Euphronios is considered a member of the Pioneer Group, along with Euthymides, Phintias, and other vase-painters. Shapes connected
to the painter are cups, the calyx krater, stamnos, psykter, and pelike. The cup is the main shape connected to the potter.
Scenes include Herakles and Antaios, athletes, the symposion, and Amazons. One of the best known works is a krater formerly
in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1972.11.10; BAPD 187) showing the personifications of Sleep (“Hypnos”) and Death (“Thanatos”)
carrying Sarpedon from the battlefield at Troy. Some findspots are sites in Etruria (Vulci, Cerveteri, Orvieto, Tarquinia),
Athens (Agora, Acropolis), Thasos, and Olbia (Black Sea).
Based on Egyptian alabaster prototypes, this small vase for perfume or oil has a broad, flat mouth, narrow neck, a thin, bag-shaped
body (sometimes with lugs), and is usually footless. Used for women's toilet and for cult, its contents were extracted with
Meaning 'carry on both sides,' the amphora is made in all fabrics. It has two vertical handles, a wide body, and a narrower
neck. Some have a broad foot, some have lids and their size can vary. Used for both liquids and solids, the three main types
are: 1) Transport amphora -- a large coarse-ware shape with a long body, small toe and narrow mouth that can be stoppered.
2) Neck amphora -- there are many varieities in fine ware, all sharing an offset neck. In addition, there are specially named
variants, e.g. Nikosthenic, Nolan, Panathenaic, and pointed. 3) Belly amphora -- the body and neck form a continuous curve.
The forms of handles, mouth, and feet differ among the various types of amphorae.
The amphora Type A has a flaring lip with concave sides, flat flanged handles, a foot with the upper part stepped, and a lower
echinus or torus. An early amphora shape that was popular in the black-figure technique, it was produced from the early 6th
c. BCE to about 440 BCE.
The amphora Type B has a flaring lip with straight or slightly concave sides, an echinus foot, and cylindrical handles. It
is one of the oldest shapes, produced from the late 7th c. BCE until about 425 BCE.
The amphora Type C has a rounded lip and torus or echinus foot and its handles vary in shape. It was potted from the second
quarter of the 6th c. BCE in the black-figure technique (especially by the Affecter's workshop), and from ca. 520 BCE to 470
BCE in the red-figure technique.
The handles of the bail amphora reach over the mouth. This type of amphora was used for storing and carrying wine, oil, and
other commoditities, for serving wine at the table, and as an ash urn for the dead.
An amphora where the neck joins the body at sharp angles instead of a smooth curve. The neck and the body are offset, meaning
that the curve and shape changes radically where the neck meets the shoulder.
Originiating in the Protogeometric period, the shape is one of the four types in use at the time. The name is derived from
the location of its handles, which are placed on the shoulder of the vessel. The shoulder-handled amphora seems to have been
developed in Athens at the beginning of the Protogeometric period but only became popular at the end, when it sometimes replaced
the belly-handled amphora in female burials.