Mythology in Black and Red

Mythology in Black and Red

M3D1: Greek Pots: Mythology in Black and Red. One of the most admired forms of art for the ancient Greeks was painted pottery.  So popular was this form of artistry that artists became known by name and painted pots were collected as decorative art.  Imagery included secular scenes of everyday Greek life or pictures of athletes (the latter were found on pots used as sports trophies).  Others depicted Greek myth in sharp imagery.  Pottery went through a traceable style progression during the Archaic period that included four phases.  Those phases were:  Geometric, Orientalizing, Black Figure, and Red Figure.  The activity will outline the changes in Greek pottery through the four style phases, as well as provide you with the stories of Greek mythology as they appear in pottery paintings. 

First, begin by locating a piece of Greek pottery online (one NOT illustrated in your text) that illustrates a Greek myth.  Carefully examine the pottery to determine its style and the pottery phase it represents.  Next, research its subject or the story illustrated on the pot.

Use the questions below to help guide your thoughts. 

  1. What characterizes the style phase of your example?
  2. Are there repeated figure conventions to the style? 
  3. Is there evidence of greater naturalism in drapery? in anatomy?
  4. How does the progression of style help us date archaeological finds?
  5. What is the story represented?

When you have completed your research, address the following in a post consisting of 250 words: Introduce your work, including the date and its present location.  Include either an image or link to your selection.  Using your text as a guide, discuss which pottery phase your selection best exemplifies and why.  What characteristics of the pottery are representative of the phase?  Lastly, after describing the style, analyze the subject.  What is the myth illustrated on the pot?  Briefly tell the story.  With combined contributions, we will see examples of style, as well as examples of the popular Greek stories.  Respond to two of your classmates’ posts by considering how their works compare to your own pottery piece in terms of style evolution and naturalism.

Answer preview for Mythology in Black and Red

Mythology in Black and Red

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