Black to Red Figure (Transitional)


Herakles Feasting in the Presence of Athena

  • Black figure version painted by Lysippides Painter 
  • Red figure version painted by Andokides Painter 
  • 530-515BC
  • Red figure does not need to fill space add more figures like Hermes and servant as in the black figure
  • More detail on red figure vase you dont get on black. Can interpret and understand the painting more easily. Such detail on black figure would not be subtle enough. 
  • We can see form of Herakles' body like his leg under drapery on red figure 
  • Can see Herakles' drinking cup immediately on red - more definition and clarity on red figure
  • In black figure we cannot tell if the table is below the couch or in front but the red figure manages to solve this with overlapping the table showing its in front - overlapping does not really work on black figure, it just gets lost. Sense of depth created in red figure
  • Purple colour for vine leaves - colour is used more to distinguish things etc. <-sign of it being a transitional period. 
  • error in red figure - gap in vine 
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Herakles attempting to steal Apollo's Tripod

  • Tarquinia Painter Black figure vase 520BC
  • Struggle between Herakles and Apollo over sacred tripod at Delphi - prophetess refuses to give answers so Herakles grabs tripod and engages in tug of war with Apollo
  • uses small deer to fill space between Herakles and Apollo
  • Artist has tried to make drpaery look small and realistic but incisions have a harsh effect so clothes look thick and indelicate. 
  • Herakles, head faces Apollo, but body full frontal
  • Andokides painter managed to achieve the twist but it was impossible with black figure
  • Left leg is of Herakles convincingly executed 
  • Andokides painter red figure vase 530-515BC
  • fewer details needed
  • Subjects can be drawn with glaze lines giving artist more freedom with contours and anatomy details. 
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Three Men Carousing by Euthymides

  • The Pioneers
  • 510-500BC. Amphora
  • Two men dancing and staggering either side of central man clearly in drunken stupour. 
  • Interaction between the central man and man on the left: central man angry? Iris is placed close to inner corner of his eye suggesting anger of frustration. Cloak is falling - perhaps man to his left tried to pull it off. Men on either side of him clearly teasing the central man. 
  • Attempt at showing twisting pose of man in the centre as he looks behind him. 3/4 view - profile legs, head turning back, full frontal chest, body turns at waist
  • Generally highly innovative poses - experimentation with the effects the poses have on the anatomy of the figures. Less preoccupied with symmetry and repetition and more with pose and anatomy. 
  • Thin dilute glaze used to show less important features in anatomy and thicker glaze for lines more necessary to define. e.g. man on the right has lighter glaze for abdomenal muslces and thicker for pectoral and groin area. 
  • Drapery quite sold looking
  • Feet very long and thin quite strange
  • Leg carrying weight on man to the right - angle does not look quite right. 
  • spine of central man not very realistic with the twist of body. 
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Herakles and the Amazons by Euphronios

  • Volute Krater around 510-500BC - Depicts legendary battle between Herakles and the Amazons (female warriors living in Asia Minor)
  • Neck of krater depicts group of men drinking dancing and making music
  • Composition is rich and complicated and detailed
  • Clothing of Amazons distinguishes them 
  • Front leg of fallen Amazon bent behind her back leg - very bold new pose (previously e.g. west pediment of Aphaia at Aegina bent leg just put in front of straight leg which is easier to do but less realistic.)
  • Two warriors standing next to each other, one slightly further back - overlap/depth more successfully achieved with less confusion than in previous works. 
  • Can understand confusion and chaos of battle because of the complicated composition. 
  • Links: fallen warriors similar to those at Aphaia and warriors striding in are like Apollo and Artemis on pediment from Siphnian Treasury. 
  • Euphronios most interested in anatomy and we can see this by the number of figures and different poses he has managed to include. 
  • Herakles identifiable by club, lion skin and he is in foreground overlapped by no one. 
  • Symmety: dying figures on ground in same pose opposite each other. Herakles back to back with Telamon, both with arm raised about to deliver blow. 
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Herakles and the Amazons by Euphronios

  • Evokes a bit of pathos - fallen Amazon warrior has her arm pleading for mercy can't even bring herself to look at Telamon who is about to give death blow. 
  • Blood coming from second Amazon's leg. 
  • Foreshortening technique makes the image come out at us. Amazon on far right has foot pointing into the vase, creeping stealthily towards Herakles. Fallen figures legs also foreshortened and also one the Amazon's shields which recedes into the background
  • Could argue that the joyous scene on the neck creates quite a harsh juxtaposition with the chaotic battle scene taking away some of the brutality. 
  • Top band flowered pattern incredibly detailed
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Achilles and Hector by Berlin Painter

  • Berlin Painter was one of the best from early 5thC This vase:490-480BC
  • We can see by this point anatomy had been mastered and they start looking back to composition - Berlin Painter's work shows clear simple designs full of emotion. Work is characterised by his lithe and graceful characters. used smooth flowing lines 
  • Innovative amphora of Achilles & Hector battle. scene is on the neck, rest of vase blacked out
  • Blood gushes out of chest and leg of Hector and he is pulled back by the weight of shield - can see which way this battle is going. Hector doesnt even have energy to defend himself. fingers starting to lose grip
  • It is not the climatic moment, the death blow, but can clearly predict following events
  • Presence of gods on either side of the one they support (cannot be seen by warriors)
  • Hector's spear and Apollo's Arrow are parallel reminding us of their link and how Apollo will help in the avenging of Hector. 
  • Evokes a more personal response than if it were a complicated mass of people in a battle scene. We are focused on one scene of two humans fighting.
  • Anatomical detail: Achilles torso muscles not particularly realistic but twist in torso is huge improvement, musculature on legs should perhaps be more defined, detailed drapery of Apollo and Athena, faces done brilliantly although less detailed - more simplistic in style. 
  • Realism - dilute glaze for less important anatomical elements, see inside of Achilles' shield more personal, his defence is open. Inside of shield actually decorated
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Ganymede by Berlin Painter

  • 500-490BC bell krater
  • Typical of Berlin Painter figures are spread out. 
  • Lines are very graceful - Ganymede depicted playing with a hoop
  • simplicity of vase so Ganymede is our focus - captures Zeus' feelings (he is chasing Ganymede) completely absorbed by this one figure
  • Youth of Ganymede showed effectively with this soft subtle lines and characterisation of him playing with the hoop
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Fall of Troy by Kleophrades

  • 500-475BC
  • Focused on depicting inner motivations and emotions of his characters. 
  • Athens had just gone through war - Persian attack 480 sacking Athens - art now more realistic depictions of war, representative of human cost of war and battle. 
  • Priam at altar which was meant to protect him. Tearing his hair out, can see by red paint as blood from head. intense state of grief as he is hunched over, doesnt even notice the warrior about to deliver death blow.
  • Astyanax's body like a rag doll - anatomy like that of a small man (painting children had not been mastered by artists) can tell he is dead - body is broken, limp, angle of head and arm unnatural. 
  • Woman in far right holding household utensil about to strike warrior - showing war does not only affect men and warriors but women and children at home etc. 
  • Soldier conceals sword about to strike her has a nasty smile - showing emotion of characters.
  • Drapery shows movement - Neoptolemus's tunic billowing back slightly
  • Statue of Athena giving gods presence in the war and showing it as Athens. Cassandra clinging to statue showing desperation - she is naked and about to be stabbed - depicted in vulnerable state holding her hand out in a suppliant manner. warrior about to drag her by hair
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