The Art Of Exekias In Ancient Greek Art

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Athens, Greece was a centerpiece of Ancient Greek artwork, their painted vessels became popular throughout history. Exekias and the Aegisthus Painter used the space and techniques available to convey a story, creating a centerpiece for conversation. In 550BCE the workshop of Exekias in Athens produced a terracotta, black figured amphora with scenes on both sides. The main side features a scene from the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus is stabbing the Minotaur with two young girls and two young men on either side of them watching the hero succeed. The young girls and men represent the sacrifices that had been made and would have been made if Theseus had not succeeded, with skin color differentiating the sexes using the common…show more content…
The front of the kalpis contains the picture of Herakles battling the Nemean Lion, who could only be killed by being strangled. Herakles is wrestling with the lion on the ground with a barren tree just to the left of them. There is a line of geometric pattern making the ground line of the scene. That is the only design on the kalpis, the rest is open space, placing the focus on the scene that is depicted. This Athenian water vessel’s scene is drawn with fine details making it realistic, you can feel the energy and effort of the figures and clearly tell what/who the scene is…show more content…
Unlike an architect or sculpture where they could determine the size of their working space, pot painters were limited in the range of size and shape of available vessels. Within this confinement the artist also had freedom of thought and expression which the Greeks believed “to be the main characteristic of civilization” (Bahadur page 39). Giving the painter of the vessels incredible amounts of respect within the civilization, making vessels a centerpiece for gatherings. Both main scenes on these two vessels deal with heroes that were known by everyone, they were part of the religion and “religion was an integral part of community’s life” (Rhodes page 27). Though they deal with similar scenes, they are both heroes defeating mythological beasts, they are represented differently. These differences have much to do with the vessels that they are painted on. The amphora’s size allows Exekias to paint Theseus upright at the moment of death for the Minotaur. This then leads the viewers of the amphora to not only recognize the figures for who they are, but also create an opportunity to discuss Theseus and his accomplishments. When at a gathering the men would see it and start discussions about the great works that he accomplished. The oriental patterns that surround

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