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Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities: Archaic Greek Art (7th-6th centuries BC)
© 1993 RMN / Hervé Lewandowski
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
Archaic Greek Art (7th-6th centuries BC)
This elegant drinking-vessel is a thin-sided chalice made on the island of Chios in the early sixth century BC. Isolated human or animal figures on a plain, unadorned ground are characteristic of Chios pottery, notably chalices. Their inner surface is generally treated in a dark glaze painted with floral motifs in white and purple. The style is a continuation of the orientalizing Wild Goat style.
The Greek island of Chios, off the coast of Asia Minor, was a flourishing center of ceramic production in the eastern Greek world. Geographically distant from the workshops of mainland Greece, and strongly influenced by Middle Eastern styles, Chian pottery developed its own distinctive style from the beginning of the Geometric period.
During the Archaic period and following on from the orientalizing Wild Goat style, local painters developed the black-figure style, but it was in the more innovative and less traditional "chalice style" that they excelled until the first quarter of the sixth century BC. Chian Archaic pottery first appeared in the mid-seventh century BC, reaching its heyday during the period 630-550 BC.
For many years this pottery was thought to have been produced in Naucratis, in Lower Egypt, but excavations on Chios and chemical analysis of the island's clay established that in fact it came from workshops on Chios itself.
Pottery from Chios (essentially chalices) has been found not only on the nearby coast of Asia Minor, but also in Naucratis in Lower Egypt, on the Greek island of Aegina, on the Acropolis in Athens, in Kavala in northern Greece, and at Berezan on the Black Sea.
Decoration in the "chalice style" consisted of figures and animals derived from the Wild Goat style - almost exclusively lions and sphinxes isolated in the central panel of the cup, on one side only (the other side being plain white, as here, or decorated with a simple rosette). The lions generally face towards the right, the sphinxes to the left. Human figures are also represented, often women playing pipes, depicted in silhouette in processions, religious ceremonies, or
Sophisticated polychrome painting
The sides of Chios chalices are remarkably thin and delicate, hence the relatively small number of examples found intact. The elongated forms of the vase and stem are reinforced by the small handles applied horizontally halfway up the body.
The decorated interiors of the chalices and other small vessels such as bowls,
BibliographyMartine Denoyelle, Chefs-d'oeuvres de la céramique grecque dans les collections du Louvre, 1994, Réunion des musées nationaux, p. 30, n 10
Anne Lemos, Archaic Pottery of Chios, 1991, Oxford University Press
John Boardman, Early Greek Vase Painting, 1999, Thames & Hudson
Attributed to Running Man Painter
Kamiros (Rhodes, Greece)
Clay, brilliant paint, line-drawing, slip, red and white highlights
H. 14.40 cm; Diam. 14.50 cm
Acquisition, Salzmann excavations and collection, 1863
A 330 Bis
Galerie Campana I
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