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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Attic Vases : Attic Black-Figure Olpe
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Attic Black-Figure Olpe - PF.5759
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 510 BC to 500 BC
Dimensions: 8.75" (22.2cm) high
Collection: Classical
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: Art Logic--Sotheby's (New York) 1999

Location: UAE
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This is a splendid example of an olpe, an earthenware vessel lacking a spout used for pouring liquids and oils. The stunning painted decoration is representative of the expert level of artistry achieved in the city of Athens, both by the potters and the painters. The elegant curving forms of the olpe are a noteworthy achievement in and of themselves. A centrally ribbed handle rises out of the body of the pot and terminates in rotelles where it joins the rim. The frontal painted scene represents a satyr carrying off a maenad. The mythological creature carries a horn in his left hand, his beard and tail both highlighted in red. The maenad wears a himation elaborated with red dots and a red stripe. Two dotted vines arch out from behind her. A band of ivy leaves frames the sides of the scenes while various patterned bands, including the meander motif and a checkerboard pattern, frame the top. By far, this scene is the centerpiece of this extraordinary example of Attic vases. Ancient Greek civilization is famed today for their many philosophical and political achievements. However, nothing is more immediate and impressive as their pottery. Through examples such as this, the golden age of Athens becomes tangible and eternal. Although the Parthenon may stand in ruins today, when we hold this Attic olpe in our hands, we can envision the past and the glories of Ancient Greece alive and vibrant again. - (PF.5759)


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