During the late Archaic period (500-480/475 B.C.) the red-figure ceramics were continued by talented painters who had assimilated the precepts from the research of the Pioneers. The usage of added colour on the drapery and the denotation of the sex was almost totally abolished. However, some details were highlighted with relief or gilding. The perspective foreshortenings for the denotation of the third dimension on objects are more frequent and bodies in a three quarters pose started to be used. On the clothings prevailed the conventional depiction of groups of folds, although they are represented more naturally than they had in the past. Curved outlines prevailed and the whole impression of the compositions became more physiocratic, a fact contributed by an improvement in the rendering of the eyes. During that period it seems that the specialization of the vase painters increased, each one of whom decorated a different category of vases.

From the painters who decorated large vases the painter of Cleophrades and the Berlin Painter can be distinguished. The first one is characterized by tension, dynamism and dramatic movement in his works, elements which are obviously influenced by Euthymides. His figures are easily discerned for the details of the eyes, the nostrils and the ear lobes. Among his most interesting works are a crater and an amphora with Dionysian scenes, as well as a kalpis with scenes from "Iliu Persis", a very symbolic theme, if we consider that in the same period Greece faced the Persian invasion.
In contrast, the painter of Berlin is discerned for his delicate and slender figures, which he often placed free standing and alone on the black surface of the vase, thus concentrating the attention of the observer on them. He painted every type of crater (it was then that the spread of bell-shaped ones started), amphoras, hydrias and oenochoai. His figures herald the serenity and elegance of the Classical works, which we will meet in the Achilles Painter. To this category belong an amphora with a representation of Athena and Heracles, a crater with a representation of Ganymedes and a hydria with Apollo seated on tripods.

Among the painters of small vases, who mainly decorated kylikes, two are notable: Onesimos with his dynamic but balanced compositions and the Brygus Painter , who despite imperfections in design he managed to give expressiveness and vividness to his figures. Another kylix painter, Douris, had remarkable designing abilities, which were, however, exhausted in repetitions of known issues from daily life, and which showed, towards the end of his career, some signs of mannerism. Makron had similar abilities, who besides kylikes decorated many skyphoi as well. He rarely worked on mythological issues and his figures are somewhat solid, but careful and detailed.

| introduction | literature | arts | religion | Archaic Period

Note: Click on picture for short description.