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Peintre d'Édimbourg

Black-figure Lekythos: Athlete and Trainer


Peintre d'Édimbourg
Active in Attica, Greece, about 505-485 B.C.E.


Black-figure Lekythos: Athlete and Trainer


Earthenware, painted and incised decoration


27.5 cm (h.), 10 cm (diam.)


Purchase, gift of Miss Mabel Molson, inv. 1925.Cb.5


Archeology and World Cultures

The earliest figure-decoration on Greek vases was created essentially by silhouette and dark outline painting over the natural red clay background. About 700 B.C.E. came the addition of internal details to the silhouettes by means of incised lines and a small range of overlaid colours. This “black-figure” style remained in vogue until about 500 B.C.E., when it was gradually replaced by black figures onto a white ground, such as in this lekythos, and red figures against a black ground. Lekythoi were used to hold perfumed oil. Since athletes would anoint themselves with such oil, they were an appropriate subject to be painted on this vessel shape. Because the real names of vase painters are only occasionally known, it is conventional to devise names for them. These may refer to a site where their work has been found or a museum where an important work of theirs is located, hence Edinburgh Painter.

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