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  1. 1. WHITE-GROUND DECORATION <ul><li>This was the last technique to be developed. Its use suggests that the pottery decorators longed to have the freedom to paint like mural painters on a plaster surface. </li></ul>
  2. 2. White-ground ware technique <ul><li>Although it was used in Athens during the C6 th BC, it was not popular until the mid-C5th BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Many artists did not use it at first because the white slip was fragile. White-ground vases were therefore not very practical for everyday use </li></ul>
  3. 3. The white-ground process was similar to the black- and red-figure decoration process. <ul><li>However, there were crucial differences: </li></ul><ul><li>A chalky white slip (containing no iron) was painted onto the area to be decorated </li></ul><ul><li>The scene was drawn on using red or black slip. Again, a syringe-like instrument would have been used. The scene often mirrored the purpose of the finished vase. </li></ul><ul><li>Dilute glaze was used to add lines for detail </li></ul>
  4. 4. Then the vase was fired. <ul><li>After firing, more colours were added to decorate the vase. Vegetable dyes would have been used, and these were much less durable. Consequently, these colours have often worn off. </li></ul><ul><li>Colours would have included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yellow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Red </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grey </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Later white-ground ware would have used a wider range of colours, and a wider use of dilute glaze. Black lines virtually died out and a honey-coloured glaze became popular </li></ul><ul><li>White-ground vases were usually used for funerary ware. It was not handled much and was made to be buried with the body, so the durability of the decoration was less important. </li></ul><ul><li>The vases often showed calm, peaceful scenes – decoration reflects vase’s use </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Penthesileia Painter: Pyxis White text: p.67-68 Black text: p.81-85
  7. 7. Penthesileia Painter <ul><li>This vase was found in the grave of a young woman in Cumae, Italy. </li></ul><ul><li>The artist never signed his real name, but his attributed name comes from a kylix on which Achilles is seen killing the Amazon queen Penthesileia. </li></ul><ul><li>The Penthesileia Painter was one of the few artists to combine the white-ground background with Red-Figure decoration. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Shape: Pyxis </li></ul><ul><li>Function: Small container with fitting lid used as a type of jewellery box </li></ul><ul><li>Painter: Penthesileia Painter </li></ul><ul><li>Potter: Unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Style: White-ground/Red-figure </li></ul><ul><li>Date: c.460-450BC </li></ul>
  9. 10. Dimensions Height: 17cm
  10. 11. Inscriptions <ul><li>This vase is not signed by either the potter or the painter. </li></ul><ul><li>There are two “kalos” inscriptions, both reading “The boy is fair”. One is above Paris on Side A and the other above Eros on Side B. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Decoration Overview <ul><li>Combines a white-ground narrative frieze with a band of stylized leaves, painted in the red-figure technique </li></ul><ul><li>Pure red-figure on a dark background limited to decoration that frames the main frieze </li></ul><ul><li>Main frieze bordered above with a stylized branch of some sort, two red lines below, one above. Below the border is simpler, black slip with two broad red bands. </li></ul><ul><li>Lid of the pyxis extends to bottom of the branches </li></ul><ul><li>The shading on the rock was a technique very common in wall paintings at the time </li></ul>
  12. 13. Side A
  13. 14. <ul><li>The Myth </li></ul><ul><li>One day, while Paris was watching his father’s flocks, Hermes approached him. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>The three jealous goddesses were anxious to win the prize, and all offered Paris bribes to win his favour: </li></ul><ul><li>Hera promised him sovereignty over all men. </li></ul><ul><li>Athena promised victory in war and wisdom. </li></ul><ul><li>Aphrodite promised him the hand of the most beautiful woman in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Paris gave the apple to Aphrodite, and the dispute over Helen caused the Trojan War. </li></ul><ul><li>Out of spite Hera denied Paris the kingship of Troy, and Athena denied him success in war. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Paris sits in the centre of the frieze. He is naked except for a Chlamys (cloak) and wears a Petassos (hat) behind his head. He holds a club in his left hand. He is shown as a shepherd, and he sits on a rock, talking to Hermes.
  16. 17. Hermes, messenger of the gods, stands in front of Paris. He is dressed the same as Paris, but he carries a Caduceus , a herald’s staff entwined with snakes. He also wears winged boots.
  17. 18. <ul><li>A bearded man holding a stick is shown behind Paris. </li></ul><ul><li>It is unclear who he is, but he could be: </li></ul><ul><li>a spectator </li></ul><ul><li>King Priam </li></ul><ul><li>Zeus </li></ul>
  18. 19. Side B
  19. 20. Hermes Hera wears a diadem on her head and carries a sceptre, showing she is Queen of the Gods, and wife of Zeus. She also wears an Ionic chiton and an embroidered himation. She wears a fold of her cloak over her head. This is a sign of modesty, showing she is married. She carries a staff in her right hand.
  20. 21. Athena is identified by her helmet and her Aegis. She wears an embroidered peplos under the aegis, and carries a spear in her right hand.
  21. 22. Eros Aphrodite – “the fairest” Athena Hera Paris Hermes Aphrodite stands with her winged son Eros (Cupid). She wears an ionic chiton, and she also wears a veil over her head to show she is married (to Hephaistos). Her head is slightly bent, and she looks down at Eros.
  22. 23. Painting Technique <ul><li>This is an early example of the new White-Ground Technique. The range of colours used was quite limited, as only colours which would withstand firing could be used – browns and oranges are the only colours. </li></ul><ul><li>This style was inspired by the wall painters, who had more freedom to depict the scenes of their choice on a more realistic white background. </li></ul>
  23. 24. The areas framing the main frieze are painted in Red-Figure style, showing stylised leaves Paris’ rock is the only part of the vase showing different tones to suggest shading Colours used are very vivid
  24. 25. The calm static poses of the figures create the calm mood of the frieze Paris’ left leg turns inward slightly, and is foreshortened. The artist has shown different weights of fabric by differences in the closeness of the vertical lines on the drapery. However, the drapery does not really reveal the form of the body underneath.
  25. 26. Composition <ul><li>The treatment of drapery and the rock does suggest an element of 3-D. </li></ul><ul><li>There is little sense of depth, however, as there is a single groundline and none of the figures overlap. </li></ul>
  26. 27. Innovations <ul><li>Unlike many of the later white-ground funerary lekythoi, this pyxis was actually fired after it was painted in an effort to preserve its decoration </li></ul><ul><li>The artist is one of the few who worked in both the red-figure and the white-ground technique </li></ul>