Stunning Apulian Red-Figure Lekanis (Bowl) Pottery ca. 330 B.C.
Spectacular Apulian (Now part of Italy) Red-Figure Lekanis (Bowl) | Medium: Terracotta; red-figure | Period: Late Classical Period |ca. 330 – 320 B.C. | Lekanis (pl. lekanides) refers to a low bowl with two horizontal handles and a broad low foot. The handles are regularly ribbon-shaped, a form that suggests a prototype in another material. The application of the Greek term lekanis is taken to be a shallow, lidded and often decorated bowl. Examples of the latter appear in marriage-scenes and other scenes involving women, and are themselves regularly decorated with scenes of marriage.
An Apulian Red-Figure lekanis, c. 320 Century BC, the lid beautifully painted and featuring a female head in profile wearing a mask, the Dionysiac connection clearly indented as opposite is a panther, who stands to left. Palmette motifs opposite and a rosette atop the handle. The base of the vessel with two handles is entirely black but inside the base is what could be an ancient maker’s mark in the form of a line ending in two curls. Masks in this context are comparatively rare as are depictions of animals on Apulian vases | Dimensions: H: 6 in (15.2 cm); W: 8 3/4 in (22.2 cm).
For a mask of very similar style see references below, and Trendall, Red-Figure Vases of Apulia, p. 253, no. 2; For the vessel type Cf. A. D. Trendall, Supplement One to the Red-Figure Vases of Apulia, (1980) Chapter 22. Ex collection of Dr. Michael A Telson.Apulia (/əˈpuːliə/ ə-poo-lee-ə; Italian: Puglia [ˈpuʎʎa]; Neapolitan: Pùglia [ˈpuʝːə]; Albanian: Pulia; Ancient Greek: Ἀπουλία) is a region of Italy in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southernmost portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a “stiletto” on the “boot” of Italy. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about 4.1 million.
It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. Across the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, it faces Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, and Montenegro, The Apulia region extends as far north as Monte Gargano. Its capital city is Bari.
Apulia is one of the richest archaeological regions in Italy. It was first colonized by Mycenaean Greeks. In the 8th century BC, the Ancient Greeks expanded until they reached the area of Taranto and Salento in Magna Graecia. In the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the Greek settlement at Taras produced a distinctive style of pottery known as Apulian vase painting. A number of castles were built in the area by Frederick, including Castel del Monte, sometimes called the “Crown of Apulia”.
After 1282, when the island of Sicily was lost, Apulia was part of the Kingdom of Naples (confusingly known also as the Kingdom of Sicily), and remained so until the unification of Italy in the 1860s. This kingdom was independent under the House of Anjou from 1282 to 1442, then was part of Aragon until 1458, after which it was again independent under a cadet branch of the House of Trastámara until 1501. As a result of the French–Spanish war of 1501–1504, Naples again came under the rule of Aragon and the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714. When Barbary pirates of North Africa sacked Vieste in 1554, they took an estimated 7,000 slaves, and the coast of Apulia was occupied at times by the Turks and at other times by the Venetians.
In 1861 the region became part of the Kingdom of Italy, with the new capital city at Turin. In the words of one historian, Turin was “so far away that Otranto is today closer to seventeen foreign capitals than it is to Turin”.
Red-figure vase painting is one of the most important styles of figural Greek vase painting. It developed in Athens around 520 BC and remained in use until the late 3rd century BC. It replaced the previously dominant style of black-figure vase painting within a few decades. Its modern name is based on the figural depictions in red colour on a black background, in contrast to the preceding black-figure style with black figures on a red background. The most important areas of production, apart from Attica, were in Southern Italy. The style was also adopted in other parts of Greece. Etruria became an important centre of production outside the Greek World.
Attic red-figure vases were exported throughout Greece and beyond. For a long time, they dominated the market for fine ceramics. Only few centres of pottery production could compete with Athens in terms of innovation, quality and production capacity. Of the red figure vases produced in Athens alone, more than 40,000 specimens and fragments survive today. From the second most important production centre, Southern Italy, more than 20,000 vases and fragments are preserved. Starting with the studies by John D. Beazley and Arthur Dale Trendall, the study of this style of art has made enormous progress. Some vases can be ascribed to individual artists or schools. The images provide evidence for the exploration of Greek cultural history, everyday life, iconography, and mythology.References:
Schneider-Herrmann, Gisela. 1977. Apulian Red-Figured Paterae with Flat or Knobbed Handles, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies Supplement, Vol. 34. no. 8, p. 47, London: Institute Of Classical Studies.
Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.
Trendall, Arthur Dale and Alexander Cambitoglou. 1982. The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia. Late Apulia., Vol. 2. no. 456, p. 848, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1986. Atherion-Eros, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 3. Eros, no. 519i, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.
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