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Swing Painter

(139 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic black-figure vase painter, c. 540-520 BC, named after a swing scene on an amphora (Boston, MFA 98.918). Since his drawing style is quite easy to recognise, he has been attributed 167 vases to date, primarily amphorae. Of particular interest is the multiplicity and originality of his depictions, including unique scenes such as costumed men on stilts, a bodyguard of Peisistratus [4] armed with clubs, a Nekyia scene with Ajax [1] turned away grumbling (Hom. Od. 11,541-564) and Hera…

Taleides Painter

(215 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic Black Figure vase painter, c. 550-530 BC, named after the potter Taleides, most, perhaps all, of whose signed pots (15) he decorated: various shapes, mainly Little-Master cups. In addition he painted two hydriai for the potter Timagoras. The TP also had connexions with Amasis (Amasis Painter); the authenticity of an Amasis signature on the foot of a TP lekythos in Malibu (GM 76.AE.48), however, is disputed. The more than 30 pots ascribed to the TP show that among his contemporari…

Priam Painter

(215 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic late-black-figure vase painter around 515-500 BC, who was named after a picture on a hydria (water vessel) showing the harnessing of Priam’s wagon (Madrid, Mus. Arqueológico 10920). Almost 60 large vessels are attributed to the PP, mainly hydrias and belly amphorae type A, which are painted with carefully devised scenes; he has a preference for harnessed teams in different scenes as well as for women in the fountain house. Distinctive features of his pictorial designs link h…


(338 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] (Νικοσθένης; Nikosthénēs). Attic potter, black-figured vase painter (?) and workshop owner, c. 545-510 BC. ‘N. epoíēsen’, 'made by N.', is the most common signature in Attic pottery (surviving on 139 black-figured and 10 red-figured vessels). Characteristic of the workshop are the Nicosthenian amphorae ( c. 130; pottery), which imitate an Etruscan Bucchero form. They are routinely signed and almost all are produced by the same potter; the decoration is also to a large extent done by one hand, known as Painter N, who is pres…

Amasis Painter

(340 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] (AP) Attic black-figured vase painter around 560/550-520/510 BC, named after the potter Amasis whose signature is preserved on nine of his works (a derivation of the name from the Egyptian king  Amasis presents chronological difficulties). Potter and painter were probably the same person because the special character of the vessel shapes complements the style of painting. Almost all of the precisely crafted vessels are noticeably small and are characterized by forms suggesting ela…


(149 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] (Ἐργότιμος; Ergótimos). Attic potter who, around 570-560 BC, worked together with the black-figured vase painter  Clitias. Their main work, signed jointly, is the so-called François Vase in Florence, a monumental volute crater ( Vessels, shapes and types of), which, for the first time, displays spirally coiled jug handle volutes which are supported on top of the vessel rim. Apart from that, E. has signed an unusual stand as well as two delicate ‘Gordion cups’, an experimental, tran…

Little-master cups

(300 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Type of Attic black-figured cup, flourished around the middle and in the 3rd quarter of the 6th cent. BC ( Pottery, fig. D 1). The delicate painting for which the little-master cups (LC) are known emphasizes the elegant cup shapes. The thin-walled drinking cups, whose structured basin rests on a slim handle, are masterpieces of pottery. They were frequently signed by their potter so that we know the names of over 30 potters. Outstanding among them are Tleson, Hermogenes and Xenocl…

Phrynus Painter

(225 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attican black-figure vase painter, middle of the 6th cent. BC, named after the potter Phrynus (Φρῦνος; Phrŷnos), whose signature is preserved on three little-master cups. The decoration on one of these cups (London, BM B 424) has become famous as an outstanding example of the art of black-figure painting. It has two small scenes on the lip of the cup which depict the birth of Athena and Heracles’ introduction to Mount Olympus in an extremely succinct and at the same time amusingly explicit depict…

Tyrrhenian amphorae

(304 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Homogenous group of Attic black figured amphorae, produced between 570 and 545 BC specifically for export. The name refers to the mainly Etruscan finding places (Tyrrheni), foremost amongst them Volci/Vulci and Caere. Neck amphorae with egg-shaped bodies, decorated with animal friezes, make up about 90% of this group, of which a total of 260 vessels and fragments are known to date, attributable to eight master craftsmen (potters-painters). Their standard decoration consists of a s…

Acropolis 606, painter of

(149 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic black-figured vase painter around 570/560 BC, named after his dînos, found on the Acropolis (Athens, AM 606), with the representation of a Homeric battle with eight  war chariots; in the adjoining frieze, the earliest depiction of a contemporary cavalry engagement. The painter of Acropolis 606, to whom seven vases have been attributed, is a contemporary of Clitias, but his style of drawing is on a larger scale and more passionate; apart from that, he likes unusual, overlapping arrange…

Antimenes Painter

(264 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic black-figured vase painter around 530-510 BC, named after the kalós inscription on his hydria in Leiden []. His extensive work ( c. 150 vases) can be found mainly on standard neck amphoras and hydria, nearly all of which were exported to Etruria. A special form of the neck amphora, which is only decorated on the vessel neck [1. no.21-23], suggests a connection between the Antimenes Painter (AP) and the workshop of the potter Andocides. The pictures with figures by the AP are predominantly …


(541 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] (Ἐξηκίας; Exēkías). Important potter and vase painter in the Attic black figure tradition, active between 550 and 530 BC. His potter's mark has been preserved on 15 vessels, with three of these bearing his artist's signature: neck amphora in Berlin [1. no. 12] and the belly amphorae in the Vatican [1. no. 8] and in Tarento [2]. A further 30 works in a similar style are attributed to E. The extant vase paintings must have been produced within a short time, because the   kalos name Onetorides can be found on the earlier as well as the later works. E.'s potter's ma…


(899 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
(Λυδός; Lydós). [German version] [1] Mythological king of Lydia Mythological king of Lydia, son of Atys [1], brother of Tyrsenus ( Tyrrhenus). Eponym of the Lydian people ( Lydia) (formerly Maeon: Hom. Il. 2,864): Hdt. 1,94; Str. 5,219; Tac. Ann. 4,55. According to Hdt. 1,171 L., Mysus and Car were brothers, which expresses the tribal kinship of the Lydians, Carians and Mysians ( Carian, Mysia). Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) [German version] [2] Attic black-figured vase painter (ὁ Λυδός/ ho Lydós, ‘the Lydian’). Attic black-figured vase painter, before 560-540/530 BC; a bit older t…

Leagrus group

(288 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Last significant group of Attic black-figured vases, around 520-500 BC, titled after the name of a favourite ( Kalos-inscriptions) on five hydriae ( Hydria). The painters of the Leagrus group (LG) preferred large vessels, the vast surfaces allowing a concise view of their dramatic compositions. Approximately half of the over 400 allocated vases are hydriae or neck amphoras, further types include belly amphoras, kraters, and lekythoi ( Vessel forms). The group originated in close w…

Sappho Painter

(201 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Late Attic black-figure vase painter, c. 510-490 BC, named for the depiction of Sappho (with epigraph) on a kalpis in Warsaw (National Museum Inv. 142333). To date, 95 vessels have been ascribed to the SP, 70% of them lekythoi, in addition to other small vessels, some large vessels, tomb slabs and epinetra (Epinetron). Almost half of his paintings are white-ground. The SP did not use the red-figure technique predominant at the time, but he did occasionally use what is known as Six's technique, in which the figures were painted, co…


(391 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] (Ψίαξ/ Psíax, signature ΦΣΙΑΧΣ). Attic vase painter of the transitional period between the black-figured and red-figured techniques, of both of which he was a master; active c. 525-505 BC. His signature as painter is preserved on two red-figured alabastra, which are also signed by the potter Hilinus. Richter has identified P. with the Menon Painter, who is named after the signature of the potter; his work comprises some 50 vases today. Apart from Hilinus and Menon, P. also worked for the potter Andocides (A…

E Group

(124 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Modern technical term for an Attic black-figure ceramics workshop c. 560-540 BC; named after  Exekias, who began his career as a potter in this group; two extant signatures from this time. Characteristic are conventional belly amphorae, decorated with just a few standard themes uniformly repeated. Alongside these, this group also includes some unusual works, and especially several pioneering innovations: the type A belly amphora; the new, broad-shouldered neck amphora with ornamented handles; the first   kalos-inscriptions (for Stesias); the first appear…

Rycroft Painter

(170 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Late Attic black-figure vase painter, c. 515-500 BC, named after an early owner of one of his amphorae (Oxford, AM Inv. 1965.118). Initially known only as a black-figure painter of about 50 predominantly large pots, a red-figure hydria (private collection) has since also been attributed to him. Stylistically he is close to the Priam Painter; his elegant drawing style with a great deal of contour engraving, however, draws quite heavily on the red-figure style. Both painters appear to hav…

Vase painting, black-figured

(2,114 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart) | Steinhart, Matthias (Freiburg)
In black-figure vase painting (BFVP), figures are drawn as complete black silhouettes on the clay-coloured surface of the pottery. The drawings within those silhouettes are incised and the figures are varied and enlivened through red and white engobe. This technique required a controlled firing in three phases and was invented in Corinth in c. 700 BC (Pottery, production of). [German version] I. Attic Among the various types of BFVP, the most important is that from Attica. In c. 630 BC, Attic vase painters adopted the black-figure technique from Corinth and kept improvin…

Horse head amphoras

(243 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Large group of Attic black-figured belly amphorae with horse heads (head and neck) in the image areas; first half of the 6th cent. BC. Apart from a window-like image area without an ornamental border on each side, the horse head amphorae (HHA) are completely coated on the outside with black, glossy clay. The horse heads that are directed towards the right bear a halter and are represented with a flaming mane according to proto-Attic convention - a stylization that is preserved unt…


(146 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic black-figured vase painter c. 550/540-520, named after the affected style of his figures; based on that style, it has been possible to attribute 135 vessels to him. Without doubt, A. was both potter and painter who specialized in amphoras which he produced in several of his own variants. They are very precise and thin-walled, and decorated in a special, sometimes antiquated manner. For the figurative pictures, he was less interested in the narrative content than in the decorativ…

Theseus Painter

(231 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic late Black Figure vase painter, c. 505-485 BC; named after his depictions of Theseus. Although contemporary with the great early Red Figure masters, many vase painters still clung to the old Black Figure technique, in which they sloppily painted mainly smallish pots. In contrast to this the TP distinguishes himself by a clear figural style with long sinuous engraving lines and with a very individual multiplicity of themes. To date it has been possible to attribute to him about 200…

Gorgo Painter

(192 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic black-figured vase painter of c. 600-580 BC, named after his main work ─ a dinos on a tall base in the Louvre depicting Perseus' escape from the Gorgos. The Gorgo Painter (GP) is the first representative of the animal frieze style in Athens. He was a successor of the  Nettos painter, into who's ‘monstrous’ style he brings order by following the Corinthian model of capturing the demonic world of animals in friezes and arranging them in symmetrical groups. He utilizes the blank picture area …

Siana cups

(243 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] A genre of Attic black-figure cups, named after a site on Rhodes. The dominant type of drinking vessel in the second quarter of the 6th century BC, which later continued for a long time beside Little-Master cups. Compared to its antecedents, komast cups, in a SC the offset rim is higher, the flaring stem is taller and the handles point slightly upwards. Also new and characteristic is a tondo image on the bottom of the cup- often with a kneeling figure -  which is framed by a borde…

Panathenaic prize amphorae

(514 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Black-figured, painted pottery vessels for Attic olive oil, presented as a prize to victors in the gymnic and hippic agones at the 'Great Panathenaea' (Sport festivals). The series began with the reorganization of the Panathenaic festival (Panathenaea…

Komast cups

(202 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Important group of Attic vases of the early black figure style, which are called after their favourite theme, the wildly dancing drinker; heyday: 585 to 570/560 BC. Models for the Komast cups (KC) are the Corinthian fat-bellied dancers in short padded dress with exaggerated buttocks. Among other borrowings from Corinthian…


(396 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] (Κλιτίας; Klitías). Attic black-figured vase painter of the high Archaic period, c. 570-560 BC, master of the ‘François Vase’, which bears his signature twice and moreover that of the potter  Ergotimus. Both masters also signed a stand and two or three ‘Gordium bowls’, which, however, have little or no figurative painting. Moreover, several fragments with scenes from mythology have been attributed to C. The ‘François Vase’, named after the archaeologist who found it, a monumental voluted krater (Florence, MA), with its lively mythological ima…

Lysippides Painter

(258 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] Attic black-figure vase painter from the late archaic period, c. 530-510 BC; named after a kalos inscription ( Lysippídēs) on one of his amphorae. The LP is the most important student of Execias, from whom he adopted not only his drawing technique but also some subjects (e.g. Ajax and Achilles playing board games); otherwise he favours the feats of Heracles. About 30 vases have been ascribed to the LP, mostly amphorae and eye-bowls. His neck and belly amphorae (see Pottery with fig.), the shapes, m…


(372 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne)
(Σώφιλος; Sṓphilos). [German version] [1] Early Attic BF vase painter, c. 600-570 BC Early Attic black-figured vase painter, c. 600-570 BC, the earliest whose name is known (3 painter signatures verified). S. is one of the representatives of the animal frieze style, as is the Gorgo Painter, to whom he is very close. His significance, however, is founded on a mythological frieze with which S. introduces new possibilities to Attic vase painting. In this he also uses particular painting techniques, which create a ve…

Nettus Painter

(313 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart)
[German version] First significant vase painter of the black-figured style in Athens, c. 620-600 BC. Named after the representation of the battle between Heracles and Nessus on the neck of a monumental grave amphora with the inscription ΝΕΤΟΣ/ NETOS for Attic Νέττος/ Néttos (Athens, NM 1002). The NP and his contemporaries gave up the early Attic experimental manner of painting with contour drawing and introduced …


(948 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Heide (Stuttgart) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich)
(Νέαρχος; Néarchos). [German version] [1] Attic Black-Figure vase painter, c. 560 BC Attic black-figure vase painter and potter o…
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