Attic Black Figure Vases


Perseus and Gorgons - Gorgon Painter


A dinos that stands on a pedastal

Top frieze on shoulder depicts Perseus fleeing the Gorgons

Second layer is a chain. Bottom three layers are basic animal friezes depicting sirens and lions

Foreshortening used. Can be seen on Perseus. Motion lines on Perseus give impression of speed

Wings of the gorgons intricatly etched

Gorgons legs in profile but rest of body frontal, impossible

Animals are very stylistic

Animal friezes and chain are repetitive

1 of 8

Wedding of Peleus and Thetis - Sophilos


Top frieze, on shoulder, depicts wedding of Achilles parents

Women painted white, shows they've been inside, typical Greek woman

Procession moves anti-clockwise and Peleus marks the end by facing the opposite way

Names are inscribed and gods have their attributes. Dionysus - vine

People walk in profile but have a frontal eye

Lower three friezes are animal friezes. Very stylised. Bands are large takes attention away from main frieze

Woman wears a dress similar to the vase itself


2 of 8

Francois Vase - Kleitias


Kleitias 'a master storyteller' - Woodford

Volute Krater

Incribed 'Kleitias painted me'

Seven friezes (top down) Kalydonian Boar Hunt, Patraklos' Funeral Games, Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Achilles chasing Troilos, Animal Frieze, Ray band, Pygmies fighting cranes (on the foot)

Ajax depicted carrying dead Achilles on his back (on handle) - Triangular composition. Achilles overly large

Bands linked by Achilles

Trolios depicted with hair flowing and horses at a gallop, depicting speed

Unrealsitic etchings on Ajax's muscles

3 of 8

Dionysus and the Maenads - Amasis Painter



Depicts Dionysus with a pair of Maenads (female followers of Dionysus)

Maenads carved from the paint rather than being painted white

They are intertwined to such an extent it looks like they are somwhat conjoined

Bodies are profile yet the eyes are frontal (eyes on the side of their heads)

Dionysus has abnormally long feet and fingers

Highly stylised and geometric deess

Patterns used to fill the space left

Dionysus recognisable by kantharos jug he holds (god of wine)

4 of 8

Women Weaving - Amasis Painter



Depicts the 5 stages of the weaving process

Dress patterns on the women are very basic, simple dotted patterns

Arms of women very long, not in proportion

Facial features are sharp, noses are very long

Frieze on neck depicts boys and girls dancing

Black band beneath main frieze, keeps attention on the main frieze

Link between women and their role as a kyria, one woman wears a veil, link between marriage 

5 of 8

The Wedding Procession - Amasis Painter



Depicts a wedding procession taking place a night. A women holds candles 

The black bands on the neck and food create a frame, it doesnt detract from the main frieze

Characters are mostly individual showing the attention to detail in this vase

6 of 8

Achilles and Ajax - Exekias



Depicts Achilles and Ajax playing draughts. Both have frontal eyes yet playing in profile

Beaded, repetitive archaic hair

Realistic, but basic etched muscularture

Spears give depth. Ajax's infront of the box. Achilles behind

Serenity in scene, dressed for war, yet playing a game

Lack of movement expressed shows concentration on the game

Black bands on neck and lower body

Rayband at foot

7 of 8

Dionysus Sailing - Exekias


Kylix cup

Depicts dionysus drinking wine, reclining on his way to Athens

7 vines 7 dolphins

Dolphins have repetitive stylised etching

Stylised etchings on Dionysus. Dionysus massive compared to boat

When being drunk from the ship would slowly reveal and appear to be sailing on the wine

No horizon, sea and sky merge into one

8 of 8


No comments have yet been made

Similar Classical Civilization resources:

See all Classical Civilization resources »See all Art and Architecture resources »