The Painter of Berlin 1686 decorated vases in the black-figure technique in Athens from about 550 to 530 B.C. He specialized in the decoration of amphorae. For most of his career, he painted rather staid scenes of gods, heroes, and warriors; toward the end of his career, however, he shifted to light-hearted themes that were becoming fashionable in the work of artists like the Swing Painter. An unusual characteristic of the work of the Painter of Berlin 1686 is his tendency to repeat the same scene with little variation on both sides of a vase.
As with most ancient artists, the true name of the Painter of Berlin 1686 is unknown; he is identified only by the stylistic traits of his work. Scholars named him after one of his vases with that inventory number now in the Antikensammlung in Berlin.