black-figure vase painting

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Technique of vase painting, originating in Corinth in the 7th century bc, in which figures were painted in black silhouette on the light red clay background. Details were added by incising through the black pigment or sometimes by overpainting in red or white. The technique had its finest flowering around the mid-6th century bc, notably in the work of Execias; it then began to give way to red-figure painting, although black-figure vases continued to be produced for another two centuries. Sometimes the two techniques were combined on the same piece of pottery (a cup, for example, might have a red-figure exterior and a black-figure interior); such pieces are described as ‘bilingual’.

Subjects: Art.

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