Ancient Greece: Depicting Life Through Form

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Depicting Life through Form
The era of Ancient Greece was a time that saw a diverse culture develop rich in philosophy, athletics and politics. Men and women alike were involved with varied aspects of day-to-day living including sporting events, social gatherings and mythology. Similar to the use of photography today to capture images of significant events, the Ancient Greek were able to do the same with the use of pottery techniques. The beautiful, handcrafted pieces of pottery were decorative, functional and also serve as historic records for the Ancient Greek era.

Ancient Grecians were a unified and highly civilized culture which was evident in their love for philosophy, and literature. They also displayed a love of sports so strong that during the Olympic Games, “all wars on Greek territory were halted so that athletes could travel safely to Olympia to participate” per Laurie Schneider Adams in her text “Art Across Time, Volume I” (130). The Olympics were so important that it is no surprise that often Ancient Grecians recorded the games in their art. Not only were the Olympics featured but also “historic, epic, and mythological scenes of heroes and gods were often painted on household pottery” and “many painters featured scenes from sporting events” states Christy Hale in the article “Ancient pottery: spark a study of Ancient Greece and the first Olympics by learning about the arts of the time” (37). However, it took time, skill and techniques to construct this pottery.

Although there are assorted types of vases the general production was the same. “To make a pot, clay was dug out of the ground and cleaned of imperfections. Then a lump was placed on a potter’s wheel. A young apprentice turned the wheel while the master potter shaped the clay. The handles and base of the pot were made separately and attached later. Before the pot was fired in the kiln, a scene was sketched out and painted. Sometimes one artist created the pot and another...
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