Magna Graecia, southern Italy, Apulia, Gnathian, ca. 340 to 325 BCE. A beautiful Gnathian kylix presenting a traditional form comprised of a broad, shallow bowl, twin upraised looped handles, all upon a raised, tiered, concave pedestal. Adding to its beauty is the painted decorative program featuring a profiled head/bust of an attractive lady of fashion donning a kekryphalos over her upraised wavy coiffure, drop earrings, and a beaded necklace on the tondo - all delineated in fine-line, white with red details. These figures are often thought to represent brides, or youthful women, and they are found painted onto pottery that was made to be placed in the tombs of women. Surrounding this portrayal is a border presenting two registers of laurel buds flanking an incised band. Size: 8" W handlespan x 2.25" H (20.3 cm x 5.7 cm)
Gnathia ware is named for the site where it was first discovered - the Apulian site of Egnathia (also Gnatia, Egnatia, Ignazia). The black glaze ware is traditionally decorated with floral and other decorative motifs in red, white, or yellow hues. Scholars believe that its production most likely was centered around Taras, with primary workshops in Egnathia and Canosa. The quantity and quality of Greek colonial Apulian potters increased significantly following the Peloponnesian War when Attic exports dramatically decreased. Apulian artistry demonstrates influences of Ionian (Athenian, Attic) conventions, as well as Doric (western colonial Greek) styles, with a palpable native Italian aesthetic.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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