Online Exhibition:

Greek Vases of Southern Italy

Hixenbaugh Ancient Art is pleased to present an online exhibition of ancient Greek vases of Southern Italy featuring dozens of ceramics produced in the colonies of Magna Graecia. Greek potters and painters working in the colonial city-states of Southern Italy in the 4th century BC produced an incredibly large output of finely made vases for a market that had previously depended on imports from the cities of mainland Greece. South Italian pottery was an amalgamation of mainland Greek Ionian conventions, and Doric styles, with a noticeable native Italian aesthetic. Some vases are extravagant in design while others are more restrained. Many display figural scenes of young men, women, and erotes, often in playful scenes with matrimonial connotations. Most feature vegetal motifs of vines and tendrils. The majority of vases were for the wine service at symposia. These include kraters for mixing wine, hydriae for holding water, and oinochoai for pouring drinks. Kylixes, skyphoi and kantharoi served as wine glasses. Other vessels like pyxides and lekanides may have served as containers for valuables. The vases exhibited range from large ambitious designs by known craftsmen like Asteas to vases painted in the very particular styles of identifiable painters whose names have not come down to us like the Libation Painter, the Aphrodite Painter, the White Saccos Painter, and the Chequer Painter. All five of the predominant regional schools of South Italian pottery are well represented, including: Apulian, Sicilian, Lucanian, Paestan, and Campanian. The intricate details, vibrant scenes and masterful craftsmanship of these vases not only offer a glimpse into the daily lives of ancients but also underline the enduring legacy of Greek art in Southern Italy. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to delve into the historical tapestry of Magna Graecia and appreciate the timeless beauty encapsulated within these ancient Greek vases, just as they would have appeared at the banquets for which they were made well over two millennia ago.
All of the vases in the online exhibition are available for viewing and first-hand examination at our Manhattan gallery.