Here are some of the main Ancient Greek Pottery Vessels that were most prominent.
Oinochoe: A wine pitcher that has only one handle
Chytrai: These were very large and designed for cooking purposes. Chytrai were made of rough clay as they didn’t need to look pretty and polished when they were only used in the kitchen behind the scenes.
Hydria: A hydria is used as a water jar. It has three handles on it, used for carrying and pouring out water.
Amphora: Mainly used for the storage of grains or sometimes wine, the amphora is a large vessel with a lid and two handles.
Kylix: This is a drinking cup that has a few different designs.
Kraters: There are multiple styles of Kraters, including the calyx, column, bell, and volute styles. Kraters are used for mixing wine and water.
Lekythos: A narrow-necked flask that is used for both pouring oils and fragrances.
Some of the most iconic Greek Pottery pieces
The First Signed Ancient Greek Vessels:
The artist Sophilos’ Dinos (cauldron):
This Dinos depicts the scene of Peleus and Thetis’ wedding, present with multiple different orientalizing motifs, dating this piece back to the Orientalizing Period and is from about 580 BC. Overall, this piece is incredibly unique as it is one of the first to be signed by its artist, “Sophilos painted me” was painted by Sopilos between the columns at Peleus’ house. This was unseen and unheard of before this.
The François Vase:
This large Attic style krater has classic black-figure motifs and is dated back to 570 BC. Erigotimos was the potter while Kleitias was the painter. Both of the had signed the vessel, showing us many different clues into Ancient Greek life. For example, the fact that there is both a potter and a painter, we can deduce that there was a specialization of work even back then. The krater was found in Etruria which shows that trade of various vessels were still carried out in Athens at this time.
Other Unique Works:
Yet another Archaic period potter, Exekias used an increase in the of black on his black-figure pottery, allowing for only the middle section to be the classic orange color. In general, his pottery was quite unique not only because of this but with how he portrayed quite serious scenes with high emotions. For example, with the use of emotions in his depiction of the suicide of Ajax. Normally, it would be quite the somber event, but Exakias added emotion to it.
The Andokides painter painted six different “bilingual” vases. Bilingual vases are when both red-figure and black-figure paintings are used on the same vessel, which was very unique and needed to be done by a highly skilled artisan. The one pictured below depicts Hoplites with Athena and Hermes.
These are a few of the different Ancient Greek Pottery shapes and some of the most iconic pieces on display today!
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