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apulian vessels

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apulian vessels

peter e. and annemarie h. houghton gallery

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The Bass Museum is excited to announce its acquisition of two Apulian red-figured vessels from the Estate of Daniel P. S. Paul.

During the 8th century BCE, Greeks colonized many coastal areas across the Mediterranean and Black Seas, including the region of Apulia, or modern-day Puglia, which occupies the “heel” region of Southern Italy. For 300 years, Greek cities in Southern Italy imported their pottery vessels from Corinth and Athens. Around 530 BCE the red-figured technique was pioneered in Athens, a process that involved the use of a brush to draw the forms, instead of making laborious incisions as used in the black-figured technique. The more naturalistic and detail-oriented red-figure technique spread to Apulia through emigrating artisans from Athens. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) in Athens halted exports of pottery to the Greek cities, and Apulian vase painting flourished until 300 BCE.

This calyx krater by Darius the Painter (c. 330 BCE) was used as a bowl for mixing wine and water. It depicts Anios and his three daughters, who are approached by an unwelcome Greek king making a proposition for the services of the daughters. The family takes refuge on an altar in Delos, the birthplace of the god Apollo and his sister Artemis, represented in the upper left and upper right. The composition is elaborate, with several tiers of figures and architectural elements, three characteristics of Southern Italian vases in the 4th century BCE.

This hydria by the Baltimore Painter (c. 330 BCE) was used to draw water. It depicts a funerary scene, a common subject in Apulian vase painting. The deceased is draped in an elaborate robe and is seated on a stool in a naiskos, or a diminutive shrine. An attendant presents a box and a wreath and four additional female offering-bearers surround the shrine. The Baltimore Painter was known for his use of shading and mastery of perspective, evidenced here in the beams of the roof.

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