Between the 7th and the 5th century B.C. a new style of pottery arose in Greece, black figured ware. This is when the painting on the pottery begins to rise to a high level of representation. The red is the clay of the pottery itself. The black is applied and actually doesn't appear black until the vase is fired.
Most of this pottery was made in first Corinth and then Athens. The individual artist begin to work in readily identifiable styles. Some of their names are known but most are given a name based on a particularly well known example of their work.
Mythological scenes were especially popular. Many of the vases also depicted athletes. Some of them are erotic and would seem shocking if shown in a magazine or on television today, lots of phalluses and friendly maidens.
Major museum collections like the Met's are fascinating to see and have hundreds of vessels to appreciate. I hope the next time you are in the museum you will add the Greek pottery to your itinerary, it is often some of the best painting there.
More tomorrow, I am too tired to continue.