Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Art File: Thracian Woman

Thracian Woman

Met #: 96.9.37
Greek, Attic, Red-figure
Kylix (drinking cup)
Circa 480-470 BC
Attributed to the Brygos Painter

From the Met's Label:

"The large piece of patterned cloth used as a shield identifies the figure as Thracian. She hastens forward holding a spear in her right hand. The characterization suggests that she is an excerpt from a larger scene depicting the death of Orpheus, the irresistible musician. After losing his wife, Eurydice, Orpheus became a recluse. Thus spurned, the enraged women of Thrace killed him. In one version, they tore him to pieces."

Brygos Painter (from the Getty Museum):

"Active:about 490 B.C. - 470 B.C. Athens

Working in Athens in the early 400s B.C., the Brygos Painter was a prolific decorator of red-figure cups. Over two hundred vases have been attributed to him, including a limited number of shapes other than cups and some vessels in the white-ground technique.

Having learned his craft from Onesimos, the Brygos Painter was himself quite influential and was the center of a large circle of painters. The Brygos Painter painted both genre and mythological scenes, being especially fond of depictions of symposia, athletes, and Achilles.

His treatments of mythological scenes were often innovative, and he was also rather stylistically experimental. He had a greater interest in spatial effects and setting than did his contemporaries. By using dilute glaze washes to show three-dimensionality, his painting technique comes close to shading.

As with most Greek vase-painters, the real name of the Brygos Painter is unknown, and he is identified only by the stylistic traits of his work. He is named after the potter Brygos, with whom he worked. Some scholars think the painter and potter may be one and the same person."

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