8 Berlin Painter

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8 Berlin Painter Powered By Docstoc
					Berlin Painter

     Volute krater
Basic facts
   Vase shape: volute krater
   Function: mixing wine &
                water
   Potter:     unknown
   Painter:    Berlin Painter
   Date:       500-480 BC
   Height:     65cm
Painter
   never signed his own name
    the name Berlin Painter comes from an amphora found
    in Berlin - this volute krater is stylistically similar to that
    amphora
   often spotlighted a single figure against a black
    background, with no framing panel
   characters often give impression of being frozen in mid-
    action – their bodies tensed & poised to move on
   figures are well-muscled
   details drawn with dilute glaze
   excellent at refinement & delicacy
Innovations
   spotlighting a single figure against a black background with
    no framing panel; in this way they appear light & graceful,
    as if floating on the vase
Subject – side A
   Achilles & Memnon (Trojan hero from Ethiopia)
   a ‘frozen’ action scene from battle
   watched by their mothers, Thetis & Eos
Subject – side B
   Achilles & Hector
   ‘frozen’ battle scene
   watched by their respective divine patrons – Athena &
    Apollo
   Achilles has already wounded Hector
Composition - overall
   simple decoration - typical of the
    Berlin Painter
   only the neck & handles are
    decorated
   this is a reversal of the major artistic
    trend – no decoration on the body
    except for a coating of shiny black
    glaze, and a band of stylised rays at
    the base of the belly
   this draws attention to the shape of
    the vase & also the main frieze
   complex mirrored lotus & palmette
    chain on the lip (above the frieze)
   below the scene is a tongue pattern
Composition - scenes
   no overlapping
   single groundline
   two central figures are framed by their supporters
   scenes are symmetrical
   ¾ view of Achilles is mirrored on both sides
   positioning of shields helps to give a three-dimensional effect
   figures are in a ‘W’ composition which mimics the wide mouth and
    narrow base of the vase (the supporters are the ‘wings’ of the ‘w’
    whilst the warriors are in the interior inverted ‘v’)
   the clashing of the spears on side B adds to the ‘W’ composition
Figurative Details – side A
Achilles
 twisted in ¾ pose
 carefully mirrors taut back view of Memnon
Figurative Details – side A cont
Memnon
 holds up his shield to block Achilles’ spear
 prepares to lunge forward with his sword
 position of his legs indicate movement – the heels of his feet
  are raised off the ground
 he looks like he’s moving forward about to lunge with his
  sword
Figurative Details – side A cont
Thetis
 mother of Achilles
 stands behind Achilles
 her hands are raised as if urging
  him on to defeat Memnon
Figurative Details – side A cont
Eos
 mother of Memnon
 Eos means Dawn
 stretches out her right arm (mirrors
  Thetis) but her pose is one of anguish,
  knowing that her son is about to be
  defeated
 mirror-like symmetry of the two
  women
 her drapery flows to show movement
  & suggests she is moving away from
  the scene
 zigzag folds in her drapery
Figurative Details – side B
Achilles
   his legs are moving forward showing
    that he is ready to attack
   he is preparing to make the last fatal
    blow to the already wounded Hector
   can see the interior of his shield – it
    highlights the figure of Achilles
    (Hector is contrasted and looks
    deliberately weak)
   this shows that Achilles will be the
    victor
   both warriors are slender, agile &
    well-muscled
   both warriors are nude as was typical
    of Greek heroes
Figurative Details – side B cont.
Hector
 depicted totally unprotected – his
  shield is twisted behind him!
 blood is spurting from wounds in
  his thigh and chest
 one knee is bent – almost looks as
  if he is stumbling backwards from
  the curve of his body
 his body is painted in the ¾ pose
 both warriors are slender, agile &
  well-muscled
 both warriors are nude as was
  typical of Greek heroes
Figurative Details – side B cont.
Athena
 stands behind Achilles
 one arm is outstretched behind him
  – encouraging her favourite hero
 she holds a spear in her hand
 she wears her snake covered aegis
  and a helmet
Figurative Details – side B cont.
Apollo
 stands behind Hector
 appears to be waving goodbye to
  the ‘doomed’ Hector
 is carrying an arrow; maybe a hint
  at the fate that awaits Achilles
Non-figurative details
   complex mirrored lotus
    & palmette chain on
    the lip (above the
    frieze)
   below the scene is a
    tongue pattern
   band of stylised rays at
    the base of the body
Inscriptions
   the figures have their names painted beside them in dilute
    glaze
Painting Technique - overall
   red-figure
   figures are first painted with a relief line; the background
    was then painted in with black slip; extra details such as
    eyes were then added with black slip
   figures have their names painted beside them in dilute
    glaze
   major muscles are painted with slip – this provides more
    detail
Painting Technique – side B
   Achilles arm (holding the spear) is foreshortened
   dilute slip has been used on Achilles hair
   dilute slip is used for the blood flowing from Hector’s
    thigh & chest
   dilute slip also used for the details on the shields
Narrative Technique
The ways a story can be communicated or told:
 names (sometimes symbolic, e.g. Peitho (persuasion) on
  Makron’s vase to emphasise seduction)
 actions
 poses
 hand gestures
Narrative Technique – this vase
Overall
 all figures are named
 drapery flaring shows movement (particularly the supporters
   walking away)
 hand gestures – such as pulling hair (suggest grief)
Side A
 Achilles raised arm shows he’s about to strike
 his raised heel suggests movement
 Eos pulling her hair suggesting she is in grief about Memnon’s
   imminent death
Side B
 Apollo looks back at the defeated Hector as he walks away
   (heel raised)

				
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posted:2/29/2012
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