Already on ArticleSlash?

Forgot your password? Sign Up

How Greek Red-Figure Vases Replaced Black-Figure Vases


Visitors: 234

Retro seems to be the in thing these days. There are retro sports jerseys, shoes, video games, movies, etc. What was old is new again. Some wall decor, such as wall vases, celebrates retro artistic styles. While some styles are traditional, others are so retro that they borrow styles from ancient Greek pottery. After Greek vases first began to flourish, they began using the black-figure technique.  However, Greek pottery would continue to evolve.


After the Greeks started including human figures on their vases, they began adding other images as well. Many of these objects were mythological in nature. However, it is fascinating how they depicted scenes from Greek literature. Today, we use book illustrations to show a particular scene in a story. Instead, the Greeks would group certain objects together or even create new figures that had not previously appeared in the original stories! The best Black-Figure artists of this time would infuse their own experiences into their artwork.


Within time, Greek artists became limited in their artistic expression, due to the confines of the Black-Figure technique. Thus, at around 530-525 BC, they began developing a new style of vase-painting, called the Red-Figure technique.  The figures remain in the clay's color, and thus become red when someone heats the vase. In this spirit, creators of the wall vase are always striving to improve their craftsmanship.

The Greek artists used one of two main techniques. One method was to use a black glaze in order to create a very thin line that was raised a little bit. This line was a relief line.  Meanwhile, the other method involved using a diluted glaze whose hue ranged from dark brown to clear yellow. The artists also applied the glaze as a solid wash, to certain sections of the vase.


The backgrounds of vases created using the Red-Figure technique were also significant. This area included the space in between and surrounding the figures on the vase. Now, the area was a shiny black hue. This contrasted greatly from black-figure vases that onlookers seemed to view against a light shone against it. However, by using the Red-Figure method, each figure seemed to be blanketed by a personal spotlight!

Just as a wall vase today can liven up a room, the new Red-Figure method created some important benefits for onlookers. Viewers of the vases could see it better from long distances. Also, decorations on the vase wore down its shape less. The black background combined with the areas of the vase without figures. As a result, the vases shape was restored, and either the silhouette or the outline of the vase became highlighted.

It is quite amazing how the black-figure method descended from its prominence in the late 7th century BC. , to become virtually obsolete a century later. However, even the red-figure method would eventually lose its prominence. Some of today's contemporary wall decors, such as wall vases, are retro Greek. Use them to turn something old into something new!

Article provided Jessica Ackerman of a site featuring contemporary wall decors and metal artwork .


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Sales Tax - Go Figure
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Novelty Vases Are Unique Vases For Special Occasions Or Collectibles

by: Daryl Plaza (September 01, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Interior Design and Decorating)

Understanding Asian Vases and the Different Symbols of Buddhism That Are Used

by: Daryl Plaza (September 27, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Interior Design and Decorating)

Home Cleaning Tips For Pewter Vases to Keep Them Looking at Their Best

by: Daryl Plaza (August 31, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Cleaning Tips and Tools)

Decorating With Large Glass Vases Are For More Than Just Holding Flowers

by: Daryl Plaza (September 01, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Interior Design and Decorating)

Six Figure Yearly Reviews - Is the Six Figure Yearly Platinum Edition A Scam?

by: Eric Brown (April 07, 2008) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/Internet Marketing)

Six Figure Yearly Reviews - Has Anyone Heard of Six Figure Yearly?

by: Eric Brown (April 10, 2008) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/Internet Marketing)

The 7 Figure Networker - Is the 7 Figure Networker Worth the Investment?

by: Orlando Poveda (July 22, 2010) 

Six Figure Yearly Is it Possible to Earn Six Figure Yearly Online?

by: Mandy Clover (July 06, 2008) 
(Internet and Businesses Online)

Figure Out What You Really Want

by: Raymond Le Blanc (March 06, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/Time Management)

Sales Tax - Go Figure

by: Sharon Foltz (March 30, 2007) 
(Writing and Speaking)