The Francois Vase: story book of Greek mythology

The Francois Vase: story book of Greek mythology

270 figures run, fight, and dance across the surface of the Francois Vase. While the decoration seems dense and busy esatto our modern eyes, an ancient viewer would have known all of these mythological stories from oral tradition and epic poetry and could identify each figure with the help of the 121 labels that accompany them. Let’s take per close aspetto at scenes on the vase esatto better understand how it was used as a functional story book per the ancient world.

Alessandro Francois found fragments of the Francois vase mediante 1844 durante an Etruscan tomb north of Chiusi, Italy. Subsequent excavations led to the discovery of additional fragments. The vase was made con Athens (Greece).

An Italian named Alessandro Francois found hundreds of fragments of the vase that now carries his name while excavating an ancient Etruscan tomb in Italy durante the mid-1800s. Though found sopra Italy, the Francois Vase was made around 570 B.C.Anche. per Athens, Greece. Per antiquity many Athenian vases were exported puro Etruria, a region mediante Italy where consumers were eager to acquire Greek products.

Potter and painter

We know the names of the people who made the Francois Vase because they signed the vessel twice: Kleitias as painter, and Ergotimos as potter. This pair of artists collaborated on at least two other vessels that survive per fragments. The unconventional shape of the Francois Vase and its elaborate, well-planned decoration suggest that Kleitias and Ergotimos were an durante.

The Francois Vase is per arc krater (a vessel used for mixage vaso and wine with curling handles) and is likely one of the earliest vases of its type made sopra Athens. The shape of its handles and its particularly large size create more space for painted decoration, which Kleitias, the painter, took advantage of. Kleitias used the black-figure painting style, which was popular among Athenian artists per the Archaic period. His work is dense but careful, and his attention esatto labelling figures and objects made his decoration even more legible esatto its original viewers. The neat labels of Greek text that accompany and identify many of the characters on the vase still help us understand its imagery today.

Heroes and gods

The Francois Vase is decorated con registers (horizontal bands of decoration sometimes referred preciso as verso frieze). The main register appears at the center of the vase. It is the tallest register, and is one of only two, puro show a scapolo uninterrupted narrative around the vase’s entire circumference (the other is on the foot of the vase). This register shows the marriage of the hero Peleus esatto the nymph Thetis, verso celebrated event attended by the Greek gods. This popular myth appears on several other vases painted in the early Archaic period, including a bowl made by Sophilos.

Detail with Peleus (center) who stands before his house greeting the centaur Chiron seen beside the goddess Iris (left) at the head of the wedding procession (the inscription identifying the painter can be read under their clasped hands). The seated Thetis (fragmented), can be seen within the house.

Per this scene the wedding guests process towards Thetis, who sits sopra per grand house. Peleus stands outside of the house greeting a wise centaur (centaurs are half-man and half-horse) who will later mentor his and Thetis’s chant, Achilles. The painter of the Francois Vase inserted himself into this central scene: beneath the clasped hands of Peleus and the centaur, per painted inscription reads ‘Klitiasmegraphsen,’ or ‘Kl[e]itias made me,’ as if the vase is declaring who painted it. The centaur is followed by female deities and Dionysos, god of wine, who carries an amphora (per jar for transporting wine). Dionysos is depicted with his face turned towards the viewer, which is unusual for Greek art of the time. In fact, Dionysos and Kalliope-a muse playing per wind instrument near Dionysos-are the only 2 human figures with frontal faces on the Francois Vase. More deities follow Dionysos on foot and durante chariots, and the parade wraps around the vase.

Leave a Comment