The Development of Some Aspects of Early Athenian Red Figure Pottery and Their Links With Black Figure Conventions

Breckenridge, Hedda E (1997) The Development of Some Aspects of Early Athenian Red Figure Pottery and Their Links With Black Figure Conventions. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Garment patterning and added colour are the two elements of Attic black figure which are most often cited in literature as being remainders of the older technique which appear in early red figure. A detailed examination of patterning in black figure reveals that although it becomes standard, it does not appear in the earliest black figure vases. Counting the different motifs used by black figure artists reveals that although they share some motifs, each has individual preferences. Added colour is prominent in black figure and appears over large areas as well as small ones. The artist most often mentioned as the inventor of red figure, the Andokides Painter, is much more old fashioned in his approach to patterning than any other early red figure artist. He uses it much more often and applies it to flat garments, choosing grids that result in a very heavy appearance. His choice of motifs is different from those of the Lysippides Painter; some scholars feel the two may be the same artist, but this difference points to the existence of two artists instead of one. Added colour is also much more prominent in the Andokides Painter's vases than on those of the artists who follow him. The artists following the Andokides Painter tend to choose finer motifs which are better suited to positioning between folds. Psiax and Oltos seem to be especially interested in elaborate folds, and use patterning on garments much less frequently than the Andokides Painter. Epiktetos, who is the latest artist of these, does not use it at all on his red figure but only in his black, and in a rather half-hearted, cursory manner. Although these artists continue to use added colour in red figure and black, in the newer technique it is generally used for fine details which would have been a challenge to reserve. This appears to have been the primary consideration behind its continuing use rather than any links with black figure. These early red figure artists treat red and black figure differently in a number of ways. They use more patterning and added colour over larger areas in the older technique. Their most elaborate garments and representations of anatomical detail appear in red figure, while poses in black figure are simpler. They are clearly differentiating between the two techniques, rather than taking a uniform approach, and this does not support the idea that they were influenced by training of the old technique in their decoration of vases in the new style. Although general references have often been made to these aspects of early red figure, this is the first detailed examination of them. It demonstrates that general ideas about the continuing use of colour and pattern in early red figure, compared to their rarity later on, are accurate, but even at the early stages of the technique artists are treating it differently from black figure and are moving very rapidly away from the conventions of that style. Only the very earliest red figure artist has strong ties to it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Tony Barrett
Keywords: Archaeology
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-75327
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 21:01
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 21:01

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