Meidias Painter
Vase: Hydria
Potter: Meidias
Painter: The Meidias Painter
Date: c410-400 BC
Height: 52.2 cm
Much like the other vases, the painter
is not specifically known, however an
inscription on a similar vase was
found and so it became:
THE MEIDIAS PAINTER.
HYDRIA
Used for carrying water, made most
suitable with the two horizontal
handles for carrying/lifting, and the
handle on top for pouring.
LOWER FRIEZE ACTION
Heracles is chillin’ naked on a rock. We can
tell it’s him because of:
- Lion cloak
- Club
AND
- He’s in the garden of Hesperides.
This all relates to his twelve labours.
Other figures in the scene are Lipara,
Chyrsomethis, and Iolaus.
Well, basically:
Heracles, although granted extreme
strength and courage, was cursed with
fits of rage and temper by Hera (she had
a few attachment issues). After a rage
which saw him kill his children and
perhaps, his wife, he had to pay his dues
with twelve labours. (Meant to be ten
but he got a bit sneaky). This is number
11.
Castor
Helera
Zeus
Aphrodite
Eriphyle
Aphrodite
Polydeuces
A
C
D
F
G
E
B
Castor
Polydeuces
Helera
Zeus
Aphrodite
Aphrodite
Eriphyle
The Abduction of the daughters of Leucippus by Castor
and Polydeuces (the Dioscuri) in the sanctuary of Apollo.
– The half-brothers Castor and Polydeuces were rivals of
Idas and Lynceus, their cousins. Their rivalry would
eventually lead to the death of all of them except
Polydeuces (Zeus’ son). Before this, however, there was
another episode.
– Eriphyle was a priestess to Artemis and Helera was
priestess to Athena. They were engaged to Idas and
Lynceus, but Castor and Polydeuces fancied the girls.
They carried them off while they were collecting flowers
outside the sanctuary of Apollo, and married them, an
act which started the quarrel between the boys.
Aphrodite is just chillin’ beside her
altar near her sanctuary. She is also
up the top, in the centre of it all, as a
much younger version of herself.
Mannerist Painter
Typical characteristics of Mannerist
painters:
- also known for going against the norm
for the sake of showing talent, skill,
intelligence.
- Post-Renaissance mannerists played with
composition and form as a means of
showing personality (of painter – relates
to humanist ideals.)
Drapery – more important than you know
The drapery is depicted as loose and flowing, in
many different folds and with detail to show
depth and weight.
Creates elements of movement, the express of
narrative and adds dramatic tension to the
composition.
(Incredibly large influence on Renaissance/NeoClassic painters because it depicted style,
elegance and richness of quality).
Women, incredibly important in depicting
Athens as an ideal:
They are shown as long and elegant.
Posed, as if statues.
Tugging at drapery – could display drama,
tension, stylistic ideas, or perhaps they
are itching to get it ooon. (Different
historians have different ideas.. if you get
what I mean).
Let’s just say Helera looks a little keen to
get to her.. destination. The forward
position of her body aimed towards the
horses depicts submission, she also is
tugging at her drapery...
This could have been done so Meidias
could show off his awesome
contrapposto skills.
I don’t know what’s up with their
faces. I think we need to team effort
this one kids.
Comparison?
Faces have more definition and depiction
of form. Achilles shows a flat form, lacks
in tonal modelling (no glaze, perhaps?)
and relies on line to show anatomy.
Meidias is up there with his colour,
shading, glazing and all.
Red figure vase painting.
Black background with figures painted onto
the vase after, black relief used to show
definition within form.
Glaze known as ‘intentional-red’ helps
highlight orange colour, show style,
increase in ‘richness’ of the vase.
Gold was added to accentuate colours and
create more drama in the elaborate
scenes.
Due to the shape of the vase, the upper frieze is
moved into different ‘levels’ of drama
emphasised by a wavy groundline (it has sadly
left the vase). This too, adds narrative effect,
implying movement, shape and continuous
action. Not typical of a frieze either.
Lower frieze does move the figures to represent
landscape and natural elements. A lot more
level than upper though. No handles gettin’ in
the way.
LOWER FRIEZE
Appears much more static, people are placed in
positions, appearing as statues (emphasised
by gold detailing)
Elements of pyramidal composition creates a
sense of symmetry or ‘flow’ within the
painting.
Idea of symmetry or coherent structure
(accurate use of space) gives a consistent ideal
and so therefore appears richer.
UPPER FRIEZE
Comparatively busy – depicting a scene of
greater drama and tension. This is emphasised
by the varied points of narrative focus – while
the lower frieze has basic symmetry, the
upper frieze has different points of contact
between figures. Drama drama drama.
Swirly patterns – bay leaves of Aphro’s
sanctuary. And....?
Meidias painter loved drama – an
archetypal Mannerist who used the
myths to create elaborate scenes
that highly displayed beauty, even at
the expense of composition.