Apulian vase painting

Apulian vase painting

Apulian vase painting was the leading South Italian vase painting tradition between 430 and 300 BC. Of the "circa" 20,000 surviving specimens of Italian red-figure vases, about half are from Apulian production, while the rest is from the four other centres of production, namely Paestum, Campania, Lucania and Sicily.

The main production centre for Apulian vases was at Taras, the only large Greek "polis" in Apulia. Two styles, the "Plain Style" and the "Ornate Style" (sometimes "Rich Style") are distinguished. The first largely eschews additional colouring and was mostly used for the decoration of bell "kraters", colonet "kraters" and smaller vessels. Their decoration is quite simple, the pictorial compositions usually include one to four figures (eg. Sisyphus Painter, Tarporley Painter). The motifs focus on mythical subjects, but also include women's heads, warriors in scenes of battle or departure, and dionysiac "thiasos" imagery. The backs usually have depcitions of cloaked youths. After the middle of the fourth century, the simple style became stylistically increasingly similar to the ornate one (eg. Varrese Painter.

The artists of the "Ornate Style" preferred bigger vessels with space for larger images, such as volute "kraters", amphorae, "loutrophoroi" and "hydriai". Compositions contained up to 20 figures, often arranged in two or more registers. The figures frequently appear to be floating. Colouring was usued copiously, especially red, gold/yellow and white. While ornamentation had originally been relatively simple, from the mid-fourth century BC onwards, painters increasingly placed rich vegetal ornaments, especially on the necks and sides of vases. At the same time, simple perspective depictions of architecture, especially of "Underworld Palaces" ("naiskoi") became common. From about 360 BC, a common motif were grave scenes showing individuals performing offerings at a stylised grave or pillar. Important representatives include the Ilioupersis Painter, the Darius Painter and the Baltimore Painter.Popular mythological motifs include the assembly of the Gods, the amazonomachy, Bellerophon, Heracles, and events of the Trojan War. There are also many individual depictions of myths that are bot commonly depicted otherwise. many scenes have dionysiac or aphrodisiac themes, probably directly connected to funerery traditions and grave cults (many of the vases were made as grave offerings). Ideas of an afterlife are frequently implied or epressed by such paintings. The motif of women's head growing out of flowers or between tendrils belong to the same context. Sometimes, the women's heads are replaced by that of Pan, Hermes or foreigners. In the second half of the fourth century, depcitions of weddings, women and erotic motifs become more common. Apulian vases also occasionally depict theatrical scenes, which are also known from the other South Italian traditions, but absent in Attica. They include motifs from dramatic theatre as well as from farce (phlyax play). In contrast, scenes of everyday life and athletic motifs disappear from the repertoire nearly totally after 370 BC.

The Apulian vase painters had considerable influence on the painters of the other South Italian traditions. Some of the appear to have moved to cities other than Taras, such as eg. Canosa. Apart from red-figure pottery, black-glazed vases with painted decoration (Gnathia vases) and polychrome vases (Canosa Vases) were also produced. The South Italian clays are less rich in iron than the Attic ones. As a result, the clay would not reach the rich red known from Attic red-figure vases. This was compensated by the addition of slips of light ochre clay before firing, which also produced smoother surfaces.


* Arthur Dale Trendall: "The red-figured vases of Apulia, 1. Early and Middle Apulian", Oxford 1978
* Arthur Dale Trendall: "The red-figured vases of Apulia, 2. Late Apulian. Indexes", Oxford 1982
* Arthur Dale Trendall; Alexander Cambitoglou: "First supplement to the red-figured vases of Apulia", University of London, Institute of Classical Studies, Bulletin supplements 42, London 1983
* Arthur Dale Trendall; Alexander Cambitoglou: "Second supplement to the red-figured vases of Apulia, 1-3", University of London, Institute of Classical Studies, Bulletin supplements 60, London 1991-92
* Arthur Dale Trendall: "Rotfigurige Vasen aus Unteritalien und Sizilien. Ein Handbuch." von Zabern, Mainz 1991 (Kulturgeschichte der Antiken Welt Vol. 47), ISBN 3-8053-1111-7 (esp. p. 85-177)
* Rolf Hurschmann: "Apulische Vasen", in Der Neue Pauly Vol. 1 (1996), col. 922-923.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Red-figure pottery — Red figure vase painting is one of the most important styles of figural Greek vase painting. It developed in Athens around 530 BC and remained in use until the late 3rd century BC. It replaced the previously dominant style of Black figure vase… …   Wikipedia

  • Darius Painter — Drawing of the depiction of Darius the Great and its inscription (ΔΑΡΕΙΟΣ, top right) on the Darius Vase …   Wikipedia

  • Sisyphus Painter — The Sisyphus Painter was an Apulian red figure vase painter. His works are dated to the last two decades of the fifth century and the very early fouth century BC. The Sisyphus Painter is only known by this conventional name, as his true name… …   Wikipedia

  • Ilioupersis Painter — The Ilioupersis Painter was an Apulian vase painter. His works are dated to the second quarter of the fourth century BC.The Ilioupersis Painter begins to the beginning of the middle phase of Apulian vase painting, and the start of the so called… …   Wikipedia

  • Apulia — Infobox Region of Italy name = Apulia fullname = Regione Puglia isocode = capital = Bari status = Region governor = Nichi Vendola ( PRC ) zone = Southern Italy province = 6 municipality = 258 arearank = 7th area = 19,366 areapercent = 6.4… …   Wikipedia

  • Pottery of ancient Greece — Bilingual amphora by the Andokides Painter, ca. 520 BC (Munich) As the result of its relative durability, pottery is a large part of the archaeological record of Ancient Greece, and because there is so much of it (some 100,000 vases are recorded… …   Wikipedia

  • Fish plate — This article relates to the type of Greek pottery. For the connection bar used in railways, see Fishplate. A fish plate is a Greek pottery vessel used by western, Hellenistic Greeks during the Fourth Century B.C. Although invented in Fifth… …   Wikipedia

  • South Italian — is a designation for ancient Greek pottery fabricated in Magna Graecia largely during the Fourth Century B.C. The fact that Greek Southern Italy produced its own red figure pottery as early as the end of the fifth century B.C. was first… …   Wikipedia

  • Arthur Dale Trendall — Le Neo Zélandais Arthur Dale Trendall (1909 1995) est un historien de l art et un archéologue qui a consacré la majeure partie de sa vie à l étude des cinq ateliers de céramographes de Grande Grèce : Apulie, Lucanie, Campanie, Paestum,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anthropology and Archaeology — ▪ 2009 Introduction Anthropology       Among the key developments in 2008 in the field of physical anthropology was the discovery by a large interdisciplinary team of Spanish and American scientists in northern Spain of a partial mandible (lower… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.