Geometric Krater

755 Words 4 Pages
This two-handled jar displayed in the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston is a very typical Geometric Greek amphora. According to the information of the artwork on the Museum website, this ceramic vessel painted by the Birdseed Painter was made around ca. 735-720 BCE, which is in the late Geometric period, and it was found in Athens, Greece. While there is no particular subject to it, this vessel is covered by geometric patterns in most of the area, and there are two bands of repetitive animal figures painted among them. The painter used the black-figure technique to paint the jar, which was typical at the time.
The vessel is 60.5 cm in height, and it has a diameter of 35.2 cm. It has a rim, a neck, a body, a base, and a handle on each side
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740 BCE, that is introduced in the textbook, it is not hard to find that these two vessels share a lot of common features. The two vessels are both manufactured in the same place, Athens, Greece, and they both are created around the same period of time, which is the late Geometric period in Greece. Just like the name of the period, both artworks are covered by geometric patterns. The different patterns are organized mostly in horizontal bands, and between each major registers, three horizontal lines are drawn for the function of separation and decoration. By comparing the two vessels, viewers can see that they have many similar patterns, such as the dotted circles, dotted diamonds, checkerboards, hatched meanders, and cross-hatched triangles. Both artists of the vessels not only painted the artworks with geometric patterns extensively but also incorporated animal pattern into their works. Compare to how the animals on the krater found in Dipylon cemetery is painted, the animals on the amphora in MFA is painted in the exact same way. Both of the artists show the animal as flat as in two dimensions, and there is no any depth to the painting, exactly as how the geometric patterns are painted. Looking more closely, you will find that the horses on the amphora are in profile view, but all their four legs are shown as the horse legs are shown on the krater, which both are for the purpose of showing more clearly that they are horses and have four legs. For the same reason, the water birds are painted in profile view but with both legs shown. Also, both of the vessels are painted using the black-figure technique, which means artists painted the vessels using black paint to outline and distinguish the major subjects of the work. The high similarities of the two Greek vessels show that the “Two-handled amphora with snakes on

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