On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
By continuing to use LinkedIn’s SlideShare service, you agree to the revised terms, so please take a few minutes to review them.
Makron was one of the most important, and probably the most prolific of all the Red-Figure artists. Over 600 vases have been attributed to him in his career during the 480s-470s BC. He most often painted Kylikes and Skyphoi. He worked with Hieron on over 30 vases.
Makron is significant because of the effort he took to make his drapery look realistic.
Potter: Hieron Technique: Red-Figure Date: 490-480 BC Shape: Skyphos , a deep drinking cup Function: Drinking wine Painter: Makron
All figures have their names painted beside them in purple slip.
Both potter and painter signed their names.
Makron’s name is under one of the handles.
This vase shows a step towards naturalism. Makron was very interested in showing as much detail as possible, and was particularly good at showing folds in women’s drapery.
Also, Makron borders his frieze with a regular meander border.
Side A The Abduction of Helen
Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Queen Leda of Sparta. She was said to be the most beautiful woman alive and most of the princes of Greece wanted to marry her.
Her stepfather, King Tyndareus of Sparta, was worried that quarrels between the suitors would lead to war. Odysseus suggested a plan to avoid war.
Tyndareus made all the suitors swear that they would protect Helen’s marriage, whoever it was with. Thus satisfied, he gave her to Menelaus, who became the next King of Sparta.
Helen and Menelaus had at least one child together until, one day, Paris of Troy arrived in Sparta.
Paris (also known as Alexander) was the youngest son of Priam and Hecuba of Troy. Just before his birth, Hecuba had a dream in which her new son turned into a firebrand which caught hold and destroyed the city.
Another of Priam’s sons, who could interpret dreams, said that this new baby was born for the ruin of Troy and should be left to die.
Priam gave his son to a shepherd, who left him to die, but a she-bear found him and suckled him. The shepherd came back to find the child still alive and decided to bring him up.
Years later, Paris visited Troy and was recognised by his sister Cassandra, before being welcomed back into the family by his father, Priam.
One day, while Paris was watching his father’s flocks, Hermes approached him.
Hermes brought three the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. They were contesting for possession of an apple, inscribed “For the fairest”, which had been thrown among the guests at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus.
Eris (Strife) had not been invited and the resulting argument was too tricky for Zeus to get involved with. Paris was chosen as the man to make the decision.
The three jealous goddesses were anxious to win the prize, and all offered Paris bribes to win his favour:
Hera promised him sovereignty over all men.
Athena promised victory in war and wisdom.
Aphrodite promised him the hand of the most beautiful woman in the world.
Paris gave the apple to Aphrodite, and set sail for Sparta, where Helen lived with her new husband, Menelaus.
Menelaus welcomed Paris and entertained him for 9 days, but when he was absent in Crete on the 10th, Paris abducted Helen and took her back to Troy.
This is the origin of the Trojan War, which began when Menelaus reminded the Greek kings about their oath to protect the marriage of Helen, and raised a huge Greek army to attack Troy in order to win her back.
Paris’ companion, Aeneas . He is armed with a spear and shield, and leads the party, looking back over his shoulder. The Boys A servant stands under one handle. Paris’s legs are wide apart, suggesting movement. He too is looking back over his shoulder, as if he might be being pursued, and he leads Helen by the wrist not the hand. He wears a Corinthian helmet, but not as it would be worn in battle
The Girls Helen is the central figure, being led by Paris Helen is accompanied by two maidservants The first maidservant is Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, who is putting a cloak over Helen’s head to disguise her. The second maidservant is called Peitho (persuasion). She stands, watching the abduction, holding flowers in her hand.
Finally: Eros, son of Aphrodite, is also present. This reinforces the notion that Helen is going with Paris due to seduction not abduction.
Composition 1 The important figures are painted in the centre of the frieze. Aeneas and Peitho frame the central trio Aeneas and Peitho frame the central trio
Composition 2 The female figures are static The male figures are moving
Composition 3 The narrative moves right to left
Overlapping All the figures shown on the vase are overlapping. Since they are so close together and the drapery is so similar, Makron has a difficult job to make each figure distinct, but he succeeds. This creates a sense of depth. Single groundline
Side B Menelaus reclaims Helen
After eleven years of war, Troy was defeated.
Paris and Hector were killed in the 10 th year of the war.
The Greeks used a huge wooden horse to get inside the city, and Troy was destroyed while its people were killed or taken captive. Only Aeneas and Antenor escaped.
The Boys Kriseus, an old man with a realistic white beard The elderly Priam sits on an elaborate throne underneath the handle. He is balding and a light-coloured slip suggests grey hair Menelaus, King of Sparta, is portrayed fully armed. He is drawing his sword, about to attack his unfaithful wife.
The Girls Helen flees towards Aphrodite, but looks back over her shoulder at the angry Menelaus The second maidservant, Kriseis, is ready to help Aphrodite, Helen’s maidservant, holds her arms open towards Helen.
Composition 1 The important figures are painted in the centre of the frieze. Kriseus and Kriseis are onlookers Priam is an onlooker
Composition 2 These figures mimic the pose of Aeneas and Paris on Side A These figures mimic the pose of the static figures on Side A
Composition 3 The narrative moves right to left
Overlapping Again, all the figures are overlapping. Makros creates a sense of depth by painting Menelaus behind his shield. Single groundline
Height of the figures All figures are the same height – filling the height of the vase – except two. Priam and the boy both fit neatly underneath the handles on either side.
the himation , a cloak, usually of wool
himation was an elegant, everyday garment worn by men and women
woman’s version was lighter in size
could be worn draped around the body, variety of different manners.
The doric Chiton , a short or long tunic
much lighter, made from linen, than the himation
usually worn next to the skin
comfortable and easy to wear, and elegant
fashionable during red-figure period
Linen’s transparency allows the artist to show anatomy underneath the material
The ionic chiton
wide rectangular piece of cloth, worn to the ankle
elegant drapes and evenly pleated
had coloured garments for festive occasions, long and white worn by respectable women
Makron was particularly skilled at showing the details of drapery.
His drapery shows amazing detail and accuracy.
Lines close together indicate fine material, while heavier material is shown by lines further apart.
He then added depth and texture by painting another layer of glaze on top to suggest 3-D.
The drapery swells to suggest movement.
Material folds end in curving zig-zags, not straight lines.
Not all material folds end in zig-zags – see the cloak between Paris’ legs on Side A.
Makron’s artistic skills
all figures close to one another and they overlap, yet we can distinguish each one
skilled drawing allows us to distinguish between chitons with their closely drawn lines & the more widely spaced lines of the himation
consistent curves at the end of drapery, swelling of drapery expresses movement
Anatomy painted in slip under drapery, interest in how the body moves