Presentation on theme: "Meidias Painter Hydria White text: p.62-64 Black text: p.91-94."— Presentation transcript:
Meidias Painter Hydria White text: p.62-64 Black text: p.91-94
Meidias Painter The real name of the painter is unknown, but as he worked with the potter Meidias he is known as the Meidias Painter. He is influenced by an earlier decorator, the Eretrian painter, 430- 420 BC. His female figures are very distinctive – tall, slim and beautiful.
The Mannerists The Mannerists brought about a change in vase decorating, despite wanting to continue with old styles. Their figures are generally slimmer with smaller heads. Their graceful postures are exaggerated almost to the point of looking unrealistic. In particular, the Mannerists focussed on women. Their world in Athens was depicted as a virtual paradise.
Even the most violent of subjects were given “luxurious” treatment. The Mannerists were especially interested in decoration. Women were shown with jewellery, and their drapery was shown in new poses.
Shape: Hydria Function: storing and carrying water Painter: Meidias Painter Potter: Meidias Technique: Red Figure Date: 400- 410 BC
Dimensions Height: 52 cm
Inscriptions The potter signs his name. There are other inscriptions to signify the different figures on the vase.
Decoration The Upper Frieze Restricted by the shape of the vase, and the limitations of the handles, the artist arranges his composition at several different levels, representing different groundlines. These different groundlines are used to connect the different elements of the scene.
The Myth The Abduction of the daughters of Leucippus by Castor and Polydeuces (the Dioscuri) in the sanctuary of Apollo. The half-brothers Castor and Polydeuces were rivals of Idas and Lynceus, their cousins. Their rivalry would eventually lead to the death of all of them except Polydeuces (Zeus’ son). Before this, however, there was another episode.
There were four brothers: - Icarius - Tyndareus – father to Castor and Polydeuces - Leucippus – father to Eriphyle, Helera and Arsinoe - Aphareus – father to Idas and Lynceus Eriphyle was a priestess to Artemis and Helera was priestess to Athena. They were engaged to Idas and Lynceus, but Castor and Polydeuces fancied the girls. They carried them off while they were collecting flowers outside the sanctuary of Apollo, and married them, an act which started the quarrel between the boys.
The handles interrupt the upper frieze, and the painter has to overcome this problem by arranging his composition on different levels. Objects requiring more space are placed in the larger upper area. On the other side the handles interrupt the frieze, so the artist fills the space with an elaborate palmette.
Zeus sits on a rock, holding his sceptre, calmly watching his sons go about their abducting.
Here, Aguae runs towards Zeus, her cloak billowing behind her.
Chryseis, a girl with flowers in her lap, watches the scene unfolding.
The statue of Aphrodite is painted to show the gilded gold Peplos and ivory white body of a stone statue. The statue holds a phiale, a perfumed container, in the right hand, while the left hand is raised. Here Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, has a central position on the vase. She sits beside her heavily carved altar, calmly watching the abduction.
Peitho, a companion of Helera and Eriphyle runs away. Here is a stylised bay tree – represents the scenery of the sanctuary of Apollo.
Castor, dressed in a heavily embroidered himation, is carrying Eriphyle off to his chariot.
Here, Chrysippos, the charioteer of Castor waits for Castor to return.
Here, Polydeuces has already reached his chariot and races away, with Helera. This is a much busier, more active scene than the lower frieze.
Meidias Painter’s skill is evident here – the horses are shown in different poses. The third horse, in particular, is shown in ¾ view with a foreshortened head.
Upper Frieze – Style and Composition Different levels indicated by wavy groundline, but much of this has disappeared so figures appear floating in mid air Stylised branches growing out of base of frieze are meant to represent bay trees of Aphrodite’s sanctuary Movement convincing- fluttering drapery etc. Advances in antomy – four galloping horses seen in profile, three quarter view, foreshortened Beauty of composition –Figures of Castor and Polydeuces dressed in heavily embroidered chitons with foral motifs and other patterns –Figures of females elegant –Wear transparent chitons amd up of intricate folds which mould their bodies –Aguae and Peitho wear embroidered mantles which they lift out, so that they billow behind them –Much of clothing is accented with gold
The figure-hugging drapery on the upper frieze is very similar stylistically to the drapery on this sculpture of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis, dated around 420-410 BC.
Decoration The Lower Frieze The lower frieze continues all the way around the vase, under the line of the handles. The figures in the lower scene are mostly static. This lack of movement draws the viewer’s attention to the elegant poses and delicate drapery.
Hera, wife of Zeus, hated Herakles because he reminded her of Zeus’ infidelity. She sent a fit of madness upon him during which he killed his wife and children. In horror and remorse at his deed Herakles would have slain himself, but he was told by the oracle at Delphi that he could purge himself by becoming the servant of his cousin Eurystheus, King of Mycenae. Eurystheus, urged on by Hera, devised as a penance 12 suicidal tasks, the “Labours of Herakles.” Zeus promised that when he had completed these 12 tasks he would be rewarded with immortality.
The 11 th of the 12 Labours involved gathering the apples from the golden apple tree in the garden of the Hesperides. The Hesperides were the daughters of Atlas and Hesperis. Some stories say there were four of them, others say seven. Either way, they lived in a beautiful garden in the far west of the world, where Atlas carries the heavens on his shoulders. Their task was to guard the golden apples which Hera received from Zeus as a wedding present.
Since the Herperides were likely to steal these apples themselves, Hera also put the dragon Ladon (which had 100 heads and as many voices) to guard the apples. When Herakles came to collect the apples for the 11 th of his Labours, he tricked his way around the dragon. Either he killed the dragon; or he sent Atlas to collect the apples while he offered to hold the heavens. When Herakles returned with the apples Athena sent them back to the Hesperides.
The action takes place in the garden of the Hesperides. Frieze divided into two parts by stylised tree which bears golden apples A snake is guarding the tree and is coiled around it. Here is Hygieia, who holds sceptre in her left hand and pulls on her drapery with her right. Beside her is Klytios who gestures towards Chrysothemis and Asterope as if discussing their action.
Chrysothemis, one of the daughters of Hesperis, reaches out with a graceful hand to take an apple from the tree. Asterope, a companion of Chrysothemis, stands behind her, watching her and urging her on. This is an exaggeratedly elegant pose. See p.94 in black text
On the other side of the tree the action continues: Here, Lipara stands holding an apple. Lipara looks over her shoulder at Herakles. She holds an apple in her left hand, and gently tugs at her chiton with her right.
See p.94 for a clearer view All the women are depicted as beautiful, elegant creatures. Their grace and elegance is exaggerated almost to the point of unreality. These poses are typical of Meidias Painter. The detail of her decoration is impressive – she wears bracelets and necklaces, earrings, and a coronet in her hair.
Herakles is painted nude. He sits on a rock in a relaxed pose, watching the girls. He uses his lionskin as a cushion, and leans on his club with his right hand. Meidias Painter’s interest in the human form extended to men as well as women, and Herakles sports a very well developed torso. This is emphasised by his ¾ depiction.
Herakles’ nephew Iolaos stands behind his uncle holding a staff in his right hand. He is dressed in a chiton and an embroidered himation On the back of the vase there are eleven figures, some of whom are local attic heroes. See p.92 in black text for rear view
Lower Frieze - Style and Composition Composition is simpler Figures are placed on uneven groundline to suggest landscape Composition is arranged to suit the shape of the vase and figures are placed to suggest space and landscape Space is created by foreshortening Drapery –is fine and elegant – bodies are visible underneath –follows form of the figures - clings to the bodie
Painting Technique and Style Meidias Painter used an ochre slip on the vase before he applied any decoration – this is called “intentional” red. This heightened the orange-red of the clay’s natural colour. Though he was interested in showing internal detail on the figures, Meidias Painter was most interested in the figures’ poses. Drapery helped to accentuate the poses he created.
Drapery Men wear heavily embroidered chitons, while women’s chitons are lighter and have more folds. Both men and women’s clothes waft to show breeze or movement. Drapery is accentuated with gold. The Meidias Painter was fascinated with drapery, but for him it was not an end in itself, as some artists had concentrated on it. Meidias Painter uses drapery to exaggerate the elegance and beauty of the figures he paints.
Therefore: - folds are not realistically depicted – they emphasise the form beneath - the drapery is so thin it is transparent – again we notice the figures beneath the drapery.