One of the best red-figure vase-painters, the Berlin Painter worked in Athens in the period from about 500 into the 460s B.C. He was a technically perfect and prolific artist. About three hundred of his vases have survived. Almost all his work was in the red-figure technique, but he did try his hand at white-ground and black-figure. Although he did not invent the scheme of an isolated figure on each side of the vase surrounded by black glaze, the Berlin Painter popularized and perfected its use. He was not innovative in his subject matter, but he gave his figures a new air of elegance, aloofness, and grandeur. Since the shapes of his vases so precisely fit the proportions of his spotlighted figures, some scholars believe that he may also have been the potter.
As with most ancient artists, the real name of the Berlin Painter is unknown, and he is identified only by the stylistic traits of his work. Scholars named him after one of his amphorae in the Antikensammlung in Berlin.