22 February 2012

Art History Wednesday!

Warrior Taking Leave of his Wife; 400 BC
This lekythos/vessel is cool, because it is different from most of the typical Greek vessels you see. The Greeks only wanted to be depicted with their most serious of faces on. Even when a sculpture is of a person who just took an arrow to the lung, he has a perfectly calm face on.

This vessel shows a warrior saying goodbye to his wife, as he is leaving for battle. The unique thing is his wife is not looking at him. That subtle sign of emotion is really rare in Greek art. Knowing full well that at this time Greek warriors were dying in droves, she did not want to look up at her husband, because she knew that he was more than likely not coming back. She didn't want to say goodbye.

Apparently, he didn't make it back, because this type of vessel was used for funerary rituals. It would have been filled with wine or olive oil, then be used as a grave marker.

On a happier note, this is also one of the first demonstrations of using light color washes to build up a color when painting. It also shows a light figure drawing of the woman's figure under the light washes of paint. That is interesting in this context, because nude women were not drawn/painted/sculpted at this point in time.

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