Painting Greek Vases

The month of January is Ancient Greece Month at the Galileo School and as a project, we decided to paint red on black vases.  Red on black vases are typically seen in the Greek galleries at your local Museum.  Last Friday, while at our Greek Antiquities class at the Met, we encountered some magnificent ones.  We took a couple of photos, bought a vase painting kit at the gift shop, and went home to create our own ancient vases.  The red on black pot was developed in Athens in 530 B.C..  It’s called a red on black vase because it has a black background with red figures and designs on it.  Athenian red on black vases were exported to many places around the Mediterranean and Greece.  Many of these places include Southern Italy, Attica and Etruria.  Today, more than 40,000 vases, fragments, and specimens have been discovered in Athens.  When we returned home to paint our vases, we took a look at the pictures of the vases in the Museum.  Then, we set to work.  It took us an hour to complete our vases.  It was tedious work that required a steady hand and a lot of patience.  Wow!  If it took an hour to paint a 2 12 inch vase, imagine how long it took to paint an intricate pattern on a vase that was 10 times that size!  So on behalf of the students at the Galileo school, I would like to say, that the Greeks have us beat.  But it was sure fun to try.

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