42: A Greek Apulian Red Figure Pelike Amphora
Greek, from southern Italy, Apulian region, ca. 330 BC. Black-glazed pottery vessel done in red figure technique, used for storing wine; with ring base, sagging belly, short neck, bilateral strap handles and everted lip. Side 'A' depicts an unusual and highly intricate scene - a central female bust of a young woman surrounded by a mass of tendrils, blossoming flowers and thick vegetation. The young woman with necklace and phrygian type hat, emerging from a central white flower. Palmettes and dotted ovolo above. Side 'B' shows winged Eros wearing sandals, large necklace, bracelets, saccos, stephane and anklets. He holds an open wreath and olive branch, his beautiful long wings slightly parted as he walks left, looking back over his shoulder at a himatianclad lady of fashion. The lady of fashion, walking left, presenting patera in right hand and holding wreath with left, she wears necklace and bracelets with her hair tied up, decorated with white ribbons. Palmettes between two scenes and wave meander below.
In red figure art, the ancient potter applied the figural decoration while the pot was leather hard, with a thin clay slip orengobe. After the figures were painted with the engobe, the pot was fired, first in a high oxygen kiln, then in low and high oxygen environments. The complex oxidation-reduction - reoxidation process created the striking red-figures on a glossy black background.
Pelike stands 10-1/2"H.
Provenance: Ex-G. Smith Family collection, formed in Northern England during the 1970's.
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