Exekias In Ancient Greek Art

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Athens, Greece was a center piece of Ancient Greek artwork, their painted vessels became popular throughout history. Exekias and the Aegisthus Painter used the space and techniques available to covey a story, creating a center piece for conversation. In 550BCE the workshop of Exekias in Athens produced a terracotta, black figured amphora with scenes on both sides. The main side feature a scene from the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus is stabbing the Minotaur with two young girls and two young men on either side of them watching the hero succeed. The young girls and men represent the sacrifices that had been made and would have been made if Theseus had not succeeded, with skin color differentiating the sexes using the well know …show more content…

In ancient times the artist was confined by conventions of subjects and scenes, different techniques created the variety of the quality of the art (Boardman page 294). The skill of the painters themselves was shown in how well the used the techniques to convey the beautiful pieces of artwork that they released into the world. In 550BCE Athenian black-figured pottery was dominate and red-figure was just being invented (Burnstein page 131). So for Exekias’ black figured amphora he decided to go with the common and perfected technique with the added white color for the women’s’ skin color. Exekias’ conformation with the know black-figure technique had the viewers’ of this amphora take him seriously and not have to wonder about any different or new techniques like red-figure painting. The viewers could focus solely on the craftsmanship that Exekias displayed in the painting of the figures and design. History knows of his “excellence of craftsmanship and brushwork, crispness and control of detail balance and power of composition” (Pedley page 198). The precise details that Exekias put into his painting made his pieces great for centers at large gatherings where people would be able to admire the work put in while discussing the scene that are depicted. The people at the gathering would have wanted reasons to admire the great work of art so they would start discussing it in detail. The Aegisthus Painter’s red-figured kalpis would have had a similar affect with large gatherings. By the 470sBCE when it was painted, the technique had already been honed and had a fan base. It became more popular, because “replacing the graver with the brush gave the artist a subtler line and a new range of line expression” (Boardman page 280). People began to admire the details that the artist could incorporate

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