Squat lekythos

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A light pottery Lekythos, which, due to its form, with a low round body and flat, disk-form base, has been given the name of “squat lekythos”. It retains its strap handle at the back. The neck ends gracefully in a trumpet-form mouth. The piece has been decorated by the background completely painted with black slip. It is decorated with a valance of embossed vegetable palms, which divides the surface of the vase into different spaces as if it were a portico arched by columns.

The technique of black-figure painting was based on the use of a transparent slip which, on firing, acquired an intense brilliant black tone. As the motifs were not visible before the firing, the painters had to work completely from memory without seeing their earlier work. When the piece was fired the zones not covered by the glossy slip maintained the reddish tone of the clay vessel while the glazed, “painted” areas took on a dense and brilliant black tone. The black-figure technique was introduced into Corinth around 700 B.C. and was adopted by Attic artists in the orientalizing period (725-625 BCE). At that time the great series of black-figure vase painting began which had its main centre in Athens and continued until the beginning of the 5th Century BC.

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