Ancient Greek Pottery


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This presentation covers the styles of Greek vessels.

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Ancient Greek Pottery

  1. 1. Ancient Greek Pottery Ceramics I Ms. Colby NSBH
  2. 2. Directions • All definitions and imagery are to be recorded in your sketchbook • Imagery shown is to help you plan out your design for your pot. Use these historical references as inspiration!
  3. 3. Protogeometric 1000-900 B.C.: • Pots were decorated with black bands, wavy lines and simple geometric designs, • Concentric circles and half-circles drawn with a compass and multiple brushes • Careful attention was given to the relationship between the decoration and the shape of the pot.
  4. 4. Protogeometric Amphora
  5. 5. Geometric 900-700 B.C • An increasing amount of angled shapes cover a larger portion of the pot • Simple figures of animals and human beings - reduced to geometric forms - appear on later examples • Vessels were used as grave markers and decorated with references to funeral ceremonies.
  6. 6. Geometric example
  7. 7. Orientalizing 700-600 B.C • The style derives its name from Greek contacts with the older civilizations of the Near East • It is characterized by the use of decorative animal and floral forms; this period shows experiments with the black-figure technique and with polychrome (multi-colored) decoration • Experiments with narrative images of myths and legends.
  8. 8. Orientalizing
  9. 9. Black Figure technique • 700 B.C. in Corinth • Inspired by carved ivories and engraved metals imported from the Near East. • Figures appeared, after the firing of the pot, as black silhouettes against the background of the light red or yellowish clay of the pot. • Within the black figures, incised lines revealed the red clay beneath, allowing the artist to trace the inner details of the figure.
  10. 10. Black Figure technique, continued • Other colors - purple, white and yellow - were sometimes added for highlighting. • This technique was adopted in other Greek cities. • Athenian ware was characterized by its shiny gloss and the brighter orange color of the clay. In the decoration of the pots, Athenian painters placed greater emphasis on human figures and narrative scenes.
  11. 11. Black figure technique
  12. 12. Red Figure technique • Invented in Athens c. 530 B.C. • The figures remained in the orange-red color of the clay, and the surrounding background was turned to black by the firing of the pot. • The method of detailing the figures was changed dramatically. Instead of using a sharp tool to incise lines, the painters used a fine brush, pen or reed to apply lines of purplish, red and brown color for the inner details of the figures.
  13. 13. Red Figure technique, continued • The technique may have been inspired by low-relief sculptures in which marble figures were highlighted against dark blue painted backgrounds. Some scholars have compared both techniques to inlaid gold and silver vessels and tableware.
  14. 14. Red Figure
  15. 15. Types of Greek Pottery • amphora: a tall, storage jar for oil, wine, olives, dry goods or grain • hydria : large, three-handled jar for carrying water: one handle was used for pouring, two handles for lifting
  16. 16. Types of Greek Pottery • krater : a large bowl for the mixing of wine and water at the symposium or banquet • kylix: a shallow, circular, two-handled drinking cup - resembling a plate - on a narrow stem • oinochoe: a small pitcher used for pouring wine into the cups
  17. 17. Resources/works cited • Metropolitan Museum (NYC) Athenian Vase Painting website • Humanities @ USF
  18. 18. Next Steps • What shape vessel do you want to build? (refer to your “Common Shapes” handout) • Do you want to replicate red or black figure pottery? • What patterns will you use around the neck and the foot of your vessel? (Protogeometric, Geometric, or Orientalized)
  19. 19. Your Sketchbook Assignment • Develop a plan for both front and back of your Greek Vessel. • What story will you be telling through your vessel? This can be an original story, a biographical story, or your version of an existing story (please, no cartoon or fictional characters in their original style)
  20. 20. Did you miss part of this presentation? • • Click on “teaching” in upper right hand corner • Scroll down to find the Greek Vessel Powerpoint