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Attributed to the Phineus Painter
Greek, probably made in Rhegion, South Italy, about 520-510 B.C.
12 13/16 x 7 15/16 in.

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A nude youth holding a crop rides his horse on the front of this Chalkidian black-figure neck-amphora. The back of the vase depicts a man and a woman who appear to be conversing. Chalkidian pottery was made by a workshop of immigrant Greek vase-painters who settled in Italy. Scholars call the style Chalkidian because some vases bear inscriptions written in the alphabet of the city of Chalkis in Greece. Through two generations of production in Italy, Chalkidian pottery remained thoroughly Greek in conception. For example, the depiction of a rider on this vase derived from the long-standing Greek use of the horse as a symbol of status and wealth. A painter's miscalculation on this vase sheds light on his creative process. On the front of the vase, the Phineus Painter first drew a set of lines marking out the panel for decoration. Then, he proceeded to paint the horse but found that the panel was too small and the horse's tail hung out over the edge. The last stage of vase decoration was to cover the background areas with black glaze. When the Phineus Painter reached this point, he had to accommodate the tail by creating a slanting area behind the horse rather than following his vertical guidelines.