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Museum Practice

Video Type

Greek vases were produced in many parts of the ancient Mediterranean world that were inhabited by Greeks, including mainland Greece and the Aegean Islands. The Greeks of South Italy in particular imported fine vases from mainland Greece, but by the 5th century B.C. they began producing their own, often monumental versions of Greek pottery. Almost all South Italian wares were executed in the red-figure technique. This technique was developed around 530 B.C. in Athens by a ceramicist who began outlining figures and motifs in black slip, thus letting the terracotta clay show through, rather than filling them in as was typical of the black-figure technique. This method allowed for a greater degree of naturalism and detail. This video illustrates the technique used in the making and decorating of a red-figure volute krater at the Art Institute of Chicago.

This video was produced with the generous support of a Long Range Fund grant provided by the Community Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was created for LaunchPad, a program of digital interpretive materials that supplement the viewing of works of art on display in the Art Institute of Chicago's galleries.


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