Sunday, October 31, 2010

Red figured ware

Red figured war was produced and replaced the earlier black figured ware in about 530 B.C. and was produced until about the 3rd century B.C.
It is essentially the opposite of the black figured ware.

The applied slip decoration is bone in the negative, leaving the red behind to serve as the image, in the black figured ware the black was applied as the drawing and the red was left as the background color. The advantage of this was that it allowed the painter to work the small details with his brush. In black figure ware they had to be left behind like the whites in a watercolor or scraped into the black with a point.

The painting and the aesthetics has developed steadily and during this period it is at its height. Athens was the leading producer of these potteries which were sold through out the Mediterranean world. They were enormously popular and produced in a wide range of qualities. The poor used undecorated crude pottery. The finest sorts were very expensive.

In the 18th and early 19th century these vases were affordable, they existed in huge quantities and they were a common bring-home souvenir for elegant tourists to the Greece and Italy. Many of the collections about the world got their start upon the collections of a private party.

The drawing and elegant design of the vases is of the highest caliber and they are works of art that equal the art upstairs in the more crowded picture galleries. When the galleries of paintings are too full, I go downstairs and enjoy the fine painting on the Greek vases.

To those of you who have weathered my posts on classical pottery, thank you for your stamina. My sites stats have dropped like a stone since I started posting on this. I suppose most painters would wonder why they should know about this stuff. I think that the aesthetic sense is trainable and that is done by being acquainted with the art of your culture.

I have a post to do tomorrow on color temperature and then a couple of responses to reader queries. Then who knows what. But be forewarned, I intend to do the orders of furniture and English 19th century transfer printed pottery before I am done. Gonna have to cover some architecture, and define chriselephantine for you too. See you all tomorrow when I return to the art of making paintings.


Craig Daniels said...

It's all good...

Unknown said...

Having been a potter for 20 years, I really love it that you posted these. Too bad people don't appreciate the posts on pots as much as painting posts! Little do most people know the finesse necessary to create pots like that You have to get your ground just right (just as with a canvas), you have to make your paint (called slip, made out of just-right mixes of clay and pigment), you have to do it at just the right wetness (or dryness, if you want), and then you have to fire the sucker - where you often have as much as 25% fail rates due to blow-ups, runny glazes and other stuff painters have no need to deal with. I love these old pots!

Chris said...

I enjoy all your posts, as already stated, it's all good.

Jo-Ann Sanborn said...

Don't worry about the stats, some of us are enjoying every minute and thanking you for presenting it!

JonInFrance said...

Yeah, it's funny the stats have dropped - I feel you write so well it would make almost anything interesting - but,anyway, I find these designs very powerful - the fact that they come from so long ago also adds to their power - the latest post on the "Illustration" art" blog on perennity/motivation is absolutely fascinating. Bring on the English furniture! - I'm just a curious mind.

billspaintingmn said...

Stape! One of the main reasons I read your blog is for it's creative
As a kid, I enjoyed every comic book I could get my hands on. Your blog holds my interest and attention in the same manner. I'm entertained, and learn valuable info I can use to make a better painting.
I'm not calling you a comic book! I
just think that after all the meat and potatoes, the dessert is pretty damn good too!

Poppy Balser said...

Stape, remember that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. I am sticking with you as I find this very interesting. Bring on the art history in all forms. As always, thank you very much for what you write!

barbara b. land of boz said...

Stape...always remember that you are well used...therefore useful...

Anonymous said...

I figured that if you took the time to write and post, then I could take the time to read. Though resistant at first, I am really appreciating the beauty and skill in the pottery.

I hope that you are never DONE!

Anonymous said...

I'm another who has enjoyed learning out this history. Where I live, we have no place to see such beautiful pieces, have to travel to the bigger cities and even then there aren't many big collections. I am looking forward to the furniture too. I first got a bit interested watching Antiques Roadshow, and then went through the royal apartments in the Louvre and was totally blown away by the furnishings. They were magnificent works of art. So I continue to appreciated my 'Stapleton Art History Class'. Thanks for taking the time to do it and find all the wonderful images.

Shirley Fachilla said...

If I had realized what you were posting, I would have been visiting and reading every post. I'm a painter and a lover of all things ancient but especially the art of ancient Greece.
And I agree that to know what has gone before will increase the depth and meaning of the art one creates.
I'm coming back often to read and look and think.

Lucy said...

These posts are wonderful and inspiring.

Deborah Paris said...

Still here, Stape. It takes me back to college-sitting in that dark lecture hall watching slides of these gorgeous objects click by. I visited the Met for the first time that year and I headed straight there to see them-they did not disappoint.

Stapleton Kearns said...

At least its all acceptable.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Then you know much more about this than I do.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It is all good but a drug on the blog market.I will of course write what I think a painter ought to kn ow, even if some skip my seminar.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Stats are a usefulness meter.I don't worry too much about them, but I don't like it when I am losing people. Art history is essential to a painter so I feel I should cover it, but I think a lot of people just are not into it. Oh well.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am going to wait a while before I get art historical again. I try to rotate the subject matter.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am a comic book.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks.It is difficult knowing how far to go with something that i think important that is not holding peoples attention.

Stapleton Kearns said...

If I am less used, I am less useful.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good, I hope to expand that in which my readers are interested. Some subjects that seem dry and remote are fascinating if examined.

Stapleton Kearns said...

There is not a lot of ancient pottery on the net.I had to hunt hard for that which I found.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You should check out the archives. They are enormous now.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think you are wonderful too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The met has great ancient pottery. They do that really well.