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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Gnathian : Gnathian black-glazed Epichysis
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Gnathian black-glazed Epichysis - OF.209
Origin: South Italian
Circa: 400 BC to 300 BC
Dimensions: 7.0" (17.8cm) high x 3.0" (7.6cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Style: Gnathian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: Great Britain
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Gnathian vases are a type of ancient South Italian ceramic production and vase painting of the 4th century BC. Their production began in Apulia around 370/360 BC and they are conventionally named after the ancient city of Gnathia (now Egnazia) on the coast of modern-day Eastern Puglia. It was in this location that the first examples of this particular style were discovered in the mid-19th century. Such vessels were produced in southern Italy for around one hundred year, from the mid 4th century B.C. until the late following century. With their glossy black glaze, and the frequent presence of gadroons and plastic edges, they tend to imitate metal ware. Typical of Gnathia vases is the application of different paints directly onto the glazed vase body. Additionally, internal details could be added by incision. The themes depicted include erotes, images from the life of women, theatre scenes and Dionysian motifs. Figural, painting is often limited to the upper half of the vessel body, while the bottom half often bears only an ornamental decoration. Epichysis is a kind of jug with a squat body, a high slender neck ending in a pinched beak- spout tilted sharply upward, and a high raised handle that slightly protrudes from the spout; Epichyses were used to serve wine or to fill oil lamps through their accurate spout. Our example is entirely black-glazed (except for the two clay-red colored bands that embellish the foot), and beautifully decorated: the high quality of the black glaze (glazed during the firing process) provides an ideal support for the decorative patterns painted in white or brownish/gold yellow highlights that occupy the belly of the vessel. The decoration is arranged in friezes whereas the main decor consists of a garland of alternating vine leaves and grapes. - (OF.209)


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