From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Red-figure vase painting is one of the most important styles of figural Greek vase painting. It developed in Athens around 530 BC and remained in use until the late 3rd century BC. It replaced the previously dominant style of Black-figure vase painting within a few decades. Its modern name is based on the figural depictions in red colour on a black background, in contrast to the preceding black-figure style with black figures on a red background. The most important areas of production, apart from Attica, were in Southern Italy. The style was also adopted in other parts of Greece. Etruria became an important centre of production outside the Greek World.
Attic red-figure vases were exported throughout Greece and beyond. For a long time, they dominated the market for fine ceramics. Only few centres of pottery production could compete with Athens in terms of innovativeness, quality and production capacity. Of the red figure vases produced in Athens alone, more than 40,000 specimens and fragments survive today. From the second most important production centre, Southern Italy, more than 20,000 vases and fragments are preserved. Starting with the studies by John D. Beazley and Arthur Dale Trendall, the study of this style of art has made enormous progress. Some vases can be ascribed to individual artists or schools. The images provide irreplaceable evidence for the exploration of Greek cultural history, everyday life, iconography, and mythology.
- Pottery of Ancient Greece
- Black-figure pottery
- Art in ancient Greece
- List of Greek Vase Painters
- Classical Greek art