"Scenes of conflict were a popular theme for vase-painters. What opportunities and challenges did such scenes offer to vase-painters? In your answer, you should refer to specific details from some of the pots you have studied."
This essay focuses on the opportunities and challenges that Greek vase painters may have encountered when painting scenes of conflict on their vases. Also included in this essay are examples of these vases.
The Euphronios Calyx Krater, a red-figure vase painted by Euphronios (Paris G103, 510-500BCE) depicts Herakles fighting the Lybian giant Antaios. This scene has provided Euphronios with the opportunity to show Emotional realism. Pain and despair can be clearly seen on the faces of Herakles and Antaios as they struggle to defeat one another. This scene also gives Euphronios the opportunity to show off the detail in the musculature of the characters. They bulge realistically with the strain of action as they each attempt to survive. Additionally, there can be seen an attempt to create a feeling of depth by use of overlapping the characters and foreshortening. The use of these techniques is effective in creating natural looking bodies and adding a third dimension to the vase. Another opportunity this scene provides is to include detailed hair and beards on the characters. Through careful incisions, Euphronios has managed to capture in detail the female supporters of Antaios pulling out their hair in agony, and also shows Herakles and Antaios' beards with meticulous precision.
Another vase - the red-figure Medias Painter Hydria (London E224, 410-400BCE) - shows the abduction of the daughters of Leucippus by Castor and Pollux (the Dioskouri) from the sanctuary of the Greek god Aphrodite. This scene is particularly interesting because the Medias painter makes use of detailed clothing, showing the characters drapery with great precision. Unlike the Euphronios Calyx Krater however, the Medias Painter Hydria does not provide