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What limitations did vase painters face and how successfully did they overcome them?

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´╗┐Nia Williams-Jones Classical civilisation Sunday, 22nd September What limitations did vase painters face and how successfully did they overcome them? The three vases I have picked are by Exekias and Amasis. The first vase I have picked is by Exekias in 540-530 B.C. The painting has been placed on an amphora which is a tall storage jar. This painting is of Ajax and Achilles playing a board game. The main limitation to this is the different widths of the vase which makes it harder to paint. This however is overcome by the curves of Ajax and Achilles and their shields. Exekias has made the picture synchronise with the vase by using the curves in the painting to echo the curves of the vase. The backs of the figures, the shields and the top of the helmets all have curves to echo. ...read more.


Maenads are the followers of Dionysus. Just like how Zeus holds a lightening bolt as his symbol it is the same for Dionysus but with a thyrsus which is a stick wrapped in ivy. Another way in knowing that Dionysus is the man is the fact that he is holding a kantharos a wine cup, this is specific because Dionysus is the god of wine and theatre. There are many limitations to this painting and Amasis has not overcome these well. Depth and accuracy are not shown well in this painting. There is symmetry but there is a sense of boredom with figures just passing a hare to a man. The depth of this painting is very limited. This is shown with the Maenads, there arms around each others neck make them look like conjoined twins. ...read more.


Achilles falls in love with Penthesilea at first sight but killing her with his spear in the moment. The limitations of the vase and painting involve the shape of the vase and the lines within the painting. Whilst the vase is curved and smooth whereas the painting is using awkward visual angels and straight lines, but some how these 2 contrast seem to compliment each other. Even the eye sight is a straight line. The straightness of the lines seem to create a tension signifying that they are still in battle yet there is intimacy through eye contact. The sense of balance also helps to overcome the shape of the vase, this is shown through the similarity in which Penthsilea's body is to Achilles. In conclusion both artists have tried to overcome the limitations of the vase through the painting and shape. We can see that through the 3 vases that I have picked that Exekias has been a little bit more successful than Amasis. ...read more.

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