Greek pottery


Greek pottery

Pottery made in ancient Greece. Its painted decoration has become the primary source of information about the development of Greek pictorial art. It was made in a variety of sizes and shapes, according to its intended use; large vessels were used for storage and transportation of liquids (wine, olive oil, water), smaller pots for perfumes and unguents. The earliest style, known as the Geometric style (c. 1000–700 BC), features geometric patterns and, eventually, narrative scenes with stylized figures. From the late 8th to the early 7th century BC, a growing Eastern influence resulted in the “Orientalizing” of motifs (e.g., sphinx, griffin), notably in pieces made in Corinth (c. 700 BC), where the painters developed black-figure pottery. Athenians adopted the black-figure style and from 600 BC on became the dominant manufacturers of Greek pottery. They invented red-figure pottery c. 530 BC. By the 4th century BC the figured decoration of pottery had declined, and by the end of the century it had died out in Athens.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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