July 26, 2010
Red Figure Pottery
For this essay I will be discussing the elements of red figure sculpture and my thoughts on how they can compare or relate to the design elements of architecture. Many scholars held the role as artist and architect during the early developmental stages of Greek society. This was commonplace at the time. Seeing as how a good deal of what was developed in both art and architecture was developed during this time period, and even further beforehand, there are a great deal of interlink-able elements between the two.
Much in the same way Iktinos and Kallikrates created the Acropolis to honor the Greek goddess Athena, sculptors used their skills of decoration to develop techniques to create beautiful vases. Black figure vases were the beginning of this time period in vase sculpting and decorating. The amount of detail that could be put into black figure vases was limited. This in turn brought about red figure. Its name is based on the figural depictions in red color on a black background, in contrast to the earlier black-figure style with black figures on a red background. Red figure is, put simply, the reverse of the black figure technique. The paintings were applied to the shaped but unfired vessels after they had dried to a leathery, near-brittle texture. The normal unburnt clay was of orange color at this stage. The outlines of the intended figures were drawn either with a blunt scraper, leaving a slight groove, or with charcoal, which would disappear entirely during firing. Then, the contours were redrawn with a brush, using a glossy clay slip. Occasionally, the painter decided to somewhat change the figural scene. In such cases, the grooves from the original sketch sometimes remain visible. Important contours were often drawn with a thicker slip, leading to a slightly protruding outline (relief line); less important lines and internal details were drawn with diluted glossy clay. Details in other...