Exekias Belly Amphora Powerpoint

Exekias Belly
- Ancient Greek vase painter and potter.
- Worked approx. between 550BC – 525BC.
- Mainly worked with technique known as ‘black
- Considered to be one of the best black figure vase
- Master of psychological tension.
Belly Amphora
Side A
Achilles + Ajax
Side B
Return of Diskouri
Attribution Detail
Name: Exekias Belly Amphora
Date: 550 - 540 B.C.
Height: 61cm
Potter & Painter: by Exekias
- How is the painter identified?
He signed his name onto the vase, on
the rim of the vase.
Translates to “Exekias made me”
1. Amphora
The Shape
2. Used for storage of wine,
honey/ oil
4. Made and painted the
5. Base of neck – Vases
7. Chain of ivy leaves
6. Flanged and
decorated (not plain
and flat.
3. Larger neck, broader
shoulder, flanged decorated
*The Shape
• Continuous line from foot
to mouth
• Foot is stepped.
(Foot is moulded in
two parts, so it looks
like steps.)
1. Exekias painted and made me
2. Achilles and Ajax
3. Three (Ajax)
4. Four (Achilles)
*Where its found
1. Found on the rim of the vase and also on the left behind
2. On top-behind their heads
3.&4. Coming out of their mouths
(Other inscription)
There is a kalos inscription, it reads: “Onetorides is
*Story behind Side A
• A scene from a lost poem about the
Trojan War. Achilles and Ajax are involved
playing a board game. They are unaware
that the enemy is approaching, and they
are still playing when the Trojans attack
their camp. Any Greek who saw this would
have known what it was about and what
was about to happen.
The Scene
5- Achilles & Ajax (best friend)
6- Achilles’ name is inscribed next to him and so is Ajax’s’
7- Achilles and Ajax are
involved playing a board game.
Unaware that the enemies are
approaching they are still playing when
the Trojans attack their camp.
8- He doesn’t show what’s happening
in the moment. Here, he’s shown what’s
before the battle, and in the
8Kylix he showed what happened after
the pirates attacked Dionysus.
• Queen Leda – Her peplos is flat and fold less.
• Slave Boy – Carries a stool on his head on the stool is
a change of clothing for the twins
• King Tyndareus – Hand outstretched to pat horse
mirrors Leda’s hand stretched towards Castor.
• Castor and his horse- He holds his horse with one
hand and turns his head to acknowledge his mothers
welcoming gesture.
• Polydeuces- he is welcomed by the family dog he
bends down to pat the dog
• Return of the Dioskouroi or the
heavenly twins Castor and
Polydeuces to the home of
their parents King Tyndareus
and Queen Leda of Sparta.
• Rhythm - Leda’s outstretched arms are mirrored by her
husband Tyndareus ,who reaches up with a long
graceful hand to pat the horse muzzle.
• There are inscriptions labeling the characters
• Movement dog is jumping up at Polydeuces
• Leda offering Castor flower
• Located across the top of the scene.
• There is elaborate double lotus and
palmette motif.
• Lotus and Palmette chain with separated
leaves, which is then bordered by a red
• Base area of the body is encircled by ray
Painting Technique
1. Black figure
2. Red
3. Added red ochre wash to panel before firing
4. Purple and white were used to enliven the
decoration but fragility of the colours meant
that much disappeared.
• Figure
• Eyes, hair and beard, cloak*,
(not in realistic style)
• Use of colour: White shields,
corselet, greaves and
Purple painted on satyr’s mask on
Achilles shield.
These all create realism.
• Cloaks:
Incised with incredible detail
Panels filled with stars, spirals and flowers
Influenced by Corinthian Orientalising
• Drapery:
Flat and two dimensional
Natural look – we see the corselet under Achilles’ cloak. Heavily decorated.
Detail: If you look on Achilles arm, you’ll see a panther head.
• Achilles = more dominant figure,
because of the Corinthian helmet with
horsehair crest. He is also dressed in
full body amour, incised leather
corselet, greaves, thigh guards and
arm guard.
• Achilles’ Shield – the satyr’s head in
high relief compared to Ajax's.
Boeotian shield is archaic.
• Ajax's Shield – intricately detailed.
Bearded Gorgon’s head between two
writhing snakes. It leans on the edge if
the panel and mirrors Achilles shield.
Silhouette – bodies
Incised Detail - There is a
lot of incised detail on the
horse mane , and outline of
the horse’s muscles , to
make it look more realistic.
Added colour – Dog and
Queen Leda white. Her
Composition 1
*The composition is balanced
and symmetrical. In the centre
is the game table and this is
framed by the two figures.
• Gently curved backs of
characters follow the shape
of the vase.
• Shields follow line of the
handles and the Spears
continue up to the top of the
Composition 2
• Central figures form a triangle.
• Spears form an inverse triangle.
• Figures composed in ‘W’ Shape.
• Side B clearly uses overlapping to create three
separate planes. Which figures are on each plane
and how are the figures within each plane
connected ?
• Polydeuces playing with his dog
• Tyndareus patting the muzzle of the horse
• Leda offering a flower to Castor
• What is the woman wearing ?
• Peplos
• How does the painter depiction of this
garment compare with Lydos ?
• There is an emphasis on detail , not
depth. Lydo’s garments are plain and
• Horse’s hair tails down
Achilles’ helmet
• Bulge at the back of his
cloak. Shows that corselet
is beneath.
• Warriors heads are
frontal but their eyes
are profile.
• Muscles = swirls
• Extra glaze to give Achilles’
curls body.
• Exekias has made no attempt to
draw/curvy muscles in a realistic fashion.
• Exekias draws people to scale, Lydos has
wicked/randomly proportioned chest/
ankles/ thighs.
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