Objects of this Typology | Quantitative Analysis

Black-figure (Technique, Concept)

Canonical URI: http://kerameikos.org/id/black_figure


Preferred Label
Black-figure (en), Schwarzfigurige Vasenmalerei (de), Ceramica a figure nere (it), Μελανόμορφη αγγειογραφία (el), céramique à figures noires (fr)Additional labels


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.

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