Pitcher with Waterbirds, Dogs, and Ruminants
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Greek, Ionia, about 625 B.C.


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With its rows of goats and other animals, this oinochoe is characteristic of the Wild Goat style. The name derives from the rows of grazing goats, a favorite motif of East Greek vase-painters. In the Wild Goat style, the vase-painter decorated the surface of the vessel with rows of animals, real and imaginary, and then used floral and geometric patterns as filling ornament between them.

The Greeks living in Ionia on the coast of modern Turkey and the islands just offshore created this distinctive style of pottery in the 600s B.C. During this time, the Greeks interacted a great deal with the cultures of the Near East. As part of this meeting of cultures, Greek artists borrowed and adapted elements from Near Eastern art. Such borrowing can be seen in the multiple rows of animals and the lotus motif found at the base of this vessel.