2 - 6 - 1 Protoattic Pottery

Attic workshops moved to Orientalizing style later than Corinth, probably because Geometric style had been too strong and trade with Near East had not been so frequent[1]. In the first half of the seventh century, however, Attic vase painters abandoned simple silhouette figures and introduced Orientalizing schemes. It is noticeable that they also painted on large vases, on which Corinthain painters rarely decorated (Fig.1,Fig.2).



Early Protoattic vases such as a krater in Munich show the development from Geometric to Orientalizing style. The shape, subject matter (chariot) and zig-zag pattern show close relationship with Geometric style, while other patterns and animals on the lower frieze are obviously of Orientalizing style. Mythological scenes are also introduced into their repertory.

A monumental amophora from Eleusis, dated to c.670, is the masterpiece of Protoattic pottery. Figures on the neck, Odysseus blinding Polyphemos, are painted with outline technique and some details are represented by engraved lines. On the body is Gorgons persueing Perseus who killed their sister, Medusa, and protected by Athena. Features of Gorgons differ from later common representation.

[1] For Protoattic pottery, see, Kubler, K., Altattische malerei, (1950), Hampe, R., Ein fruhattisches Grabfund, (1960), Morris, S. P., The black and white style: Athens and Aigina in the Orientalizing Period, (1984), Karouzou, S., Angeia tou Anagyrountos 1, (1963), Brann, E., Late Geometric and Protoattic pottery: Athenian Agora VIII.