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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Gnathian : Gnathian Polychrome Oinochoe
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Gnathian Polychrome Oinochoe - PF.2589
Origin: Magna Graecia
Circa: 330 BC to 300 BC
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high x 4" (10.2cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This black-glazed trefoil oinochoe is a stunning example of a Gnathian pottery, a style invented in Taranto during the second quarter of the 4th century B.C. A critical element that distinguishes the Gnathian style from other types of pottery in the Apulian region of Magna Graecia (the pre-Roman name for southern Italy) is the technique. Instead of utilizing the characteristic red-figure technique whereby the artist reserves the image in the natural color of the clay by filling in the background with black glaze and then drawing in details in the reserved areas, the painters of Gnathian pottery used a totally different method. As we observe in this exquisite Gnathian oinochoe, the artist has covered the surface of the vase with black glaze first, then painted the decoration entirely in added colors, resulting in a much more painterly technique that also gives an added quality of realism to the painted images. This subtle realism is seen in the luscious grape vine pattern that enlivens this Gnathian jug, its delectable image tantalizing our senses to taste the imagined grape wine that spills forth from the spout of the jug. The Gnathian potters must have been truly inspired by the ancient Gods when they created such rich and beautiful work of art such as this. - (PF.2589)


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