Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To punctuate the series

22 Nov 2011  Not on Pearl Harbor Day, as usual, but even before Thanksgiving Day (actually on the 50th anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy), as I was returning from collecting the old cat before an oncoming deluge, at the bottom of the Japanese Camelia tree, where its blooming always begins, and almost in the dark in the shade of the tree, I saw this new camelia (which the heavy rain surely damaged), so I took a chance that the baby Nikon could take it without flash, which these camelias respond to badly in a photograph
I had already decided to interrupt the series of essays on vase-painting.  Among the reasons are copyright laws and the abundance of good literature (as well as appalling stuff) on the great masterpieces of Greek vase painting, since I object to the use of most of the old drawings instead of the real vases.  Even more critical to my decision is the fact that the subject becomes far more complex in the periods from Late Archaic through Late Classical, and the best work (which fortunately was done on fired vases rather than some biodegradable ground, but is no less great for being on a pot) needs to be discussed in individual essays, treated in the same way as I have done the Miletos lion or the "Barberini Faun", for example.
In the album, for the time being, I can call your attention to a great Late Corinthian black-figure krater, Louvre E 638, Payne's no. 1474, for which I do have an acceptable digital image:
Louvre E 638 (Payne NC no. 1474; Amyx CorVP, pp. 574-5, often considered
mainly for its inscriptions, since, like the EC Eurytios Krater, it stands alone,
without another known by the same hand.  It represents the Departure of Hektor
for battle at Troy.
I could write a whole essay on a vase like this; indeed, it is pointless just to say how interesting and fine it is, and no more.  The very fact of Corinth's rubbing red clay onto the surface of these kraters requires discussing their Attic contemporaries along with them, the very works of Sophilos and Kleitias of which I have no photos that I can use here.

So, though I haven't at this moment decided what to write on next, I shall return in Teegee: Essays to just that, essays instead of lessons.  That also will allow me write true Opera Nobilia essays on some of the masterpieces of drawing and design for their own sake.
See: http://teegeeoperanobilia.blogspot.com/2011/11/homage-to-berlin-painter.html

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

V. Middle Corinthian Black Figure

Middle Corinthian Black Figure, c. 600–c.570 BCE
Munich.  The Dodwell Pyxis
I used to have a 19th-century dictionary of antiquities (in a paperback reprint) that dated the Dodwell Pyxis, named for the famous traveler who acquired it in the Corinthia, to the time of the Dipylon vases, then recent finds in that cemetery, which bore figures that the writer (was it Nettleship?  William Smith?) thought extremely primitive and childish.  He had a similar opinion of the letter forms on the lid of this pyxis.  In any case, it was the cast of characters in the Boar Hunt that interested him.  Of course, we know now (and some knew then, in the 1880s) that the spelling and writing on the lid are simply the work of someone less than a calligrapher (though about two decades later than the Eurytios Krater), and its animal friezes, as well as the shape of the pyxis itself, are Middle Corinthian.  The Dodwell Painter typifies much of the animal frieze work of the first quarter, or so, of the sixth century BCE.  Usually insouciant, his work is occasionally ambitious, as on a huge oinochoe (made as pretentious grave goods) in the Richmond, VA, Museum.  I can add nothing to the work of my friend and mentor, D. A. Amyx, on the Dodwell Painter and his followers (not to say that other work is not useful, too).  Humfry Payne, though, was surely right in regarding Middle Corinthian (MC) frieze work as more commercial than EC, let alone Protocorinthian.
BM Large trefoil oinochoe with triple handle and three friezes.  Late in MC, perhaps ca. 570 BCE.
One gets pictures of details for study as one can:
BM Large trefoil oinochoe with triple handle and three friezes.  Late in MC, perhaps ca. 570 BCE.
This large trefoil-mouthed oinochoe, with three friezes and a triple handle, is less idiosyncratic than work by the Dodwell Painter's best followers, but generically it is of much the same kind.
My own favorite work in Middle Corinthian is by the Corinthian Chimaera Painter and the painters in his group; I posted the one that first took my fancy last month, in this blog, before deciding that many of  the pots were after all not what you'd call opera nobilia.  His best plates, though, such as the Louvre one, have as much distinction as anything I can think of.  A companion of his, The Painter of Louvre E574, has a tighter manner of drawing but also is very fine.
Munich, Antikensammlung, 6449 (346A).  Purchased in 1904 from a Paris auction.
 Payne, NC 1047.  Amyx, CorVP 171, AP1.  Lawrence, most recently,  Hesperia,
 Supplement 28 (1996), pp 72-73, 123, L14.  MC/LC plate by the Painter of
Louvre E 574, who also decorated the famous Copenhagen plates.
These horses are rather comparable with those on the great Attic Fran├žois Vase by Kleitias, in the next post, and are probably not much earlier.
Apart from the kylixes of the Gorgoneion Group (see Amyx in AJA 65 (1961), pp. 1–15, pls. 1–15, for a very enlightening discussion of the Medallion Painter and the rest of this group), the finest miniature work of Middle Corinthian—I have already illustrated the Brussels Aeneas kylix above—the finest, perhaps the finest of all miniature work in MC, is that of the Samos Painter, and for him the kotyle Louvre CA 3004:
Louvre CA 3004.  The Hydra and Herakles' companion
Iolaos at right.  Both the figure work, the floral chain, and
the lettering, in my opinion (AJA 88 (1984) pp. 59–64,
pls. 21–23), give this a relative date of c. 585 BCE.
The front of the kotyle is noble and sprightly and elegant, but the dancing komasts, dipping wine from the dinos that you can just see under the handle to the right of Iolaos, each one named by an epithet to characterize their nature, go around the back of the cup and are the most delightful of their kind.  Since Amyx and I published our studies, excavations at Samos have been published that, in my opinion, really link this artist with the Attic KX Painter and suggest that at least the latter spent some time actually working on Samos.  The Corinthian Samos Painter, however, made his cups of Corinthian clay.  My photo, above, though at least it shows the little cup in a lifelike way, is slightly too pink.
Here, copied from my article, are those komasts:
Louvre CA 3004.  Here are the komasts, Playful, BigButt, Phallios, Komios, and the rest.  At right, the horses of the chariot that brought Herakles and Iolaos.  There is a great publication of this kotyle in the Mon.Piot 40 (1944) pp. 23–52, figs. 1–17, pls. 1–3, by Pierre Amandry.

Just how great these komasts are can be appreciated by comparing them with those on the Berlin kotyle, Payne's no. 953, published as early as Gerhard, which are like wooden puppets rather than human dancers wearing padded festival costumes:
Kotyle, Berlin.  Payne's Necrocorinthia no. 953.  Condition outstanding; art OK
Alabastra continued to be made larger and larger, as much as 30 cms. tall.  Consider the two from Delos (illus. below) and from Tocra (Boardman, no. 369—he was part of that excavation and he published the Tocra (Taucheira) one.  This artist, rather fantastical, on whom I have published in Hesperia 67 (1998), pp. 302–322, pls. 50–60, began in the period of EC style and worked through most of MC.
Delos 431, Boardman, Early Greek Vase Painting, no. 370, by
the Taucheira Painter, who often doesn't know which wing
he's engraving!  But splendidly.  Notice the fashion for showing
a potnia theron as if she were an ancient statue of herself.

Here are two large alabastra in Berlin, both with tritons, as we call them.  The one at left
is itself part of the heavily embroidered "Luxus Phenomenon" that the Tocra and Delos
alabastra exemplify.
I think this will do for Middle Corinthian.  It is too much my specialty for me to write about it with too few illustrations, and where I disagree with my elders I want only to say what I think without being contentious.
But, between Boardman's book and these posts, I daresay you are getting more of these things than you are used to seeing.  Or are you?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

IV. Exceptional Picture Vases

The Eurytios Krater and the Gorgon Dinos
Paris, Louvre E 635, from Caere (modern Cervetri).  Payne, Necrocorinthia,
no. 780 and pl.27, a view similar to this one.  Boardman, Early Greek VP,
p. 199, no. 396, moves around to the right, to show us Herakles and Iole
(Boardman,p. 179, provides the Corinthian alphabet).  Among the indices
that date it are the head of Iole and the floral festoon on the shoulder.
Known from surviving written sources (indeed, these very names of Eurytios's three sons are given in a fragment of Hesiod, a good century earlier), the story, which this krater shows must have been substantially the same at the end of the seventh century BCE, shows Herakles feasted at the house of Eurytios, seeking the hand of Iole (whose name, by the way, as the digamma initial used here hints, is the same as our 'viola' or 'violet', which came to us by way of Latin), is not the sort of thing we have seen much earlier in vase-painting.  Herakles will abduct her and so seal his fate.  The Chigi Olpe, a generation earlier, does have names written for the little Judgment of Paris: 3 letters survive of 'Alexandros', the proper name of Paris, and most of the names of Athena and Aphrodite, but we cannot tell whether the artist had a specific literary story in mind for the main scenes, while the hare hunt is surely generic.  It is different to add a realistic anecdotal touch by showing dogs eating scraps from the table; they also creatively serve as space fillers in the composition.
Now, not to bring in here the suggestion that the artist of the Chigi Olpe may be the name Ekphantos (alas, just a name), what is significant is that we have very little more by the artist of the Chigi Olpe (see the preceding blog post) and nothing more by the artist of the Eurytios Krater, despite generations of efforts to match the little animal frieze on the surface of the krater's rim (Amyx CorVP III, pl.  57, 1a–b) with other little animals of similar quality, such as those by the Heraldic Lions Painter, which do, though, further confirm the relative dating of the great krater—as for an estimate of the absolute date, coming late in EC black figure, it is close to 600 BCE.  The Eurytios krater is a reminder of how little we know of picture-art, especially so early as this.  Its artist is vivid, skilled so that he draws it all with ease, delightful.  He does not seem to be laboring to copy something else, but it does seem likely that he did not spend his life in the potteries.  It is not that painting on wooden, gessoed panels is 'nobler', though engraving and coloring slivers of ivory (since the material cost more) probably was reserved for especially admired artists.  Painting on temple walls (assuming that they did paint directly on walls, as the Etruscans would start doing) was hardly, in my opinion, more prestigious than making these kraters the majority of which were made to be shipped to Etruria: that's where they're found.  Painting on slabs that formed tomb walls, as at Paestum, likewise was funerary art; we only assume that the kraters "must have been" used at banquets for the living before being placed in the tombs where they were found.  If we want to fantasize about Etruscan tombs, we now know just enough to find more to say than D. H. Lawrence's private daydreams in Etruscan Places.
There are a few good places to seek further pictures of the Eurytios Krater; the best is the Louvre's own web site.  Some of the bad sites are dreadfully bad, worse than anything you'd find in 19th-century books.  Some sites are just dumb and generalized with little, excessively processed images.  You can trust the Louvre and the British Museum. My own efforts to photograph the Eurytios Krater through glass, hand-held, are mostly not sharp enough to post, but consider these riders in the lower frieze.
Louvre E635: The Eurytios Krater.  One of the riders from the lower-frieze
horse race (I think of a 'cavalcade' as a parade of walking horses, and these
short-haired riders are, I think, jockeys, not hippeis (which is Greek for
equites in Latin) who raise and own the horses.  For vase painting, what is
most relevant here is that other horses at this date, if shown in motion, have
their hind legs gathered up below their bodies, and the drawing here is both
very skillful and very loose for Early Corinthian.

The Gorgon Dinos poses superficially similar questions, in so far as the main frieze, with the Gorgons on one side and duellers with their charioteers attending them on the other, do also seem to be evidence for painting of other kinds, "free painting" in some sense of the word, and its floral festoon is one of the most elaborate of any period:

It is not only grand and complicated, however, but also shows that it is later than the Eurytios krater.  Its splayed lotuses and the four-way knotted arrangement in the centers are more comparable with Middle Corinthian black-figure of the period of the earlier kylixes that, many of them, have a gorgoneion (gorgon face) in the center of the bowl.  Consider this early publication of the unattributed one in Brussels:

This cup, incidentally, shows the Homeric way of duelling, with one's backers, here riding, behind the heroes, and everyone is named: one of the Ajaxes, backed by the other Ajax, fights Aeneas (with the snake episemion), backed by Hippokles.  Dolon, almost as a space filler, kneels behind him.  The Gorgon dinos duellers are more strongly individualized.

I have always liked the way that their charioteers look back at them, over their shields slung over their shoulders.  Yet the Gorgon Painter's drawing in the figure work here is somewhat timid compared with either the Nettos Painter before him or the artist of the Eurytios krater some sixty miles away in Corinth, and one suspects that he meant to evoke some "free painting".  Remember that, even on the interior walls of temples and civic buildings, large panel paintings on primed wood could be placed in shallow recesses (consider the interior walls of the pinakotheke at the lefthand side of the Propylaea to the Athens Acropolis), so that we needn't think of fresco (or preclude it, of course).
Again, the Louvre's own web page on the Gorgon dinos offers several more images and so does Boardman's Black Figure.  Besides, there are more handheld details in the Picasa Album, as well as four images, nos. 91–94, of an amphora, Louvre E 817, by the Gorgon Painter, which is wholly in the manner of the remaining friezes on the big dinos.  In fact, we have many vases by the painter of the Gorgon Dinos that are in this more ordinary mode, without which it might have been a more demanding task to attribute the big dinos and the other work to the same hand.
That is just what we do NOT have for the artist of the Chigi Olpe (just four exceptional pieces surely attributable), let alone the artist of the Eurytios Painter (one early column krater in splendid isolation).
These observations are important because they afford a parallel to Kleitias and Sophilos in the next generation.

You can begin (if you want to venture on attribution by style alone) with an easy exercise.  Compare these confronted sphinxes (sirens would have birds' legs) flanking a palmette-and-lotus cross with a bird atop it with similar elements in the smaller friezes on the dinos.  And never mind the residues of dot-rosette fillers (he also uses incised ones, anyway) which like his predecessor, the Nettos Painter, he was loath to give up when he wanted something very dainty and unobtrusive.  Remember the old joke: Columbus made three trips to the Americas and died on one of them: which one?  Always date relatively by the latest traits.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

IV. The Adolescence of Black-Figure Vase-Painting
Corinth's transition to real Black Figure.
Paris, Louvre.  An olpe and a trefoil-mouthed oinochoe
of the Transitional Period, which Humfry Payne dated about
635-625 BCE.  Even if it's as much as ten years later, we cannot be sure.
The olpe is one of those from the Campana collection that are the
work of the Painter of Vatican 73 (see refs. in Album)
This is ordinary good animal-frieze work, nothing like the Chigi Olpe!  But developmentally, it is taller and slenderer as an olpe shape, and this same workshop before long will start using incised blobs instead of clusters of dots, or rings with a dot in the center as on the oinochoe in the background.  Also, we see on these vases a standardized design syntax, shape by shape, which will last a good half century, of which the tongues (derived I suppose from petals) incised on the shoulder of the oinochoe are typical.  In fact, this artist, The Painter of Vatican 73, turned out fine olpai so alike that you have to count the animals and notice the cracks where they are mended to tell some of them apart.  This is the corner turned that makes this stylistic phase Transitional—not only its rosettes.
Milesian Middle Wild Goat Style in its most splendid example.
The varieties of East Greek animal frieze vase-painting are finally being sorted out and dated, so far as possible parallel to Corinthian animal frieze vases, in most cases trefoil-mouthed narrow footed oinochoai.  But all of the "wild-goat" genus opted out of black-figure with incised details.  Instead, as if they wanted to 'respect' the integrity of the smoothed surface (and in some cases perhaps considering that their brown clay would show through the pale, almost white, engobe coating, especially in the incised lines), they more or less painstakingly 'reserve' the lines showing internal muscles and features and often leave the faces of animals as well as sphinxes in outline.  One of the largest and finest of all these vases is the Marseilles oincochoe, Louvre CA 350, now classed as Milesian (quite appropriately for such a rich and ancient polis) on archeological grounds.  If I were studying from Boardman's book, I'd make an enlarged copy of his chronological chart on p. 271 and pin it up on my bulletin board (or put its File handy to be clicked open on my computer's Desktop).  Milesian Middle Wild-Goat is now dated comparably with Transitional and Early Corinthian (black-figure), and, as for the Marseilles oinochoe (Boardman, op. cit., fig. 287 with discussion on pp. 142-143), the proportions of its neck and trefoil mouth as well as those of its animals leave me in no doubt of its contemporaneity with the Painter of Vatican 73.  It is extremely elegant, cosmopolitan.  There is nothing "backward" about the wild-goat-style's choosing not to use black figure.
Detail of Louvre CA 350, the Marseilles oinochoe
I chose not to photograph the whole, knowing that it is in Boardman and also confronted with lots of glancing light except where I could shield its freestanding case with my body!  Note that it 39cm tall and almost as wide.  Painting on the pale engobe coating here, they have a problem similar to that at Corinth, that the glaze-paint does not stick so well as on Attic (or Rhodian), so a closer photo of the splendid sphinx was called for.
To Compare large Early Attic B-F with small Corinthian (Transitional B-F)
Despite my resolve to wring instructive essays from images immediately at my disposal on my own computers, I do need at least one small Transitional Corinthian painter of alabastra, and not only because he is one of my favorites.  So I took a snapshot of Humfry Payne's tracing of Palermo 489, a drawing even older than I am, showing a very different approach to animals from that of the Painter of Vatican 73, above.  He illustrates the favorite scheme for alabastra, confronted animals with another creature or motif in the center; his lions are of the rich-maned Assyrian type (and with that nub on the bridge of their nose that we see on early coins, on lions, which numismatists have been tempted to over-interpret—e.g., as a sun symbol!) but the alabastra are still very small, about five inches tall, and the filling rosettes are still of the type made out of dots.
Palermo 489, from Selinus.  NC 76.  Tracing by Humfry Payne
Payne's gray shading is for added red.  I deliberately used my smallest pocket camera, handheld, lest the Clarendon Press (late, lamented) object to my putting it here.  For I need it to compare with the very large Attic chimaeras, one from Aegina, the other from the Athens Kerameikos cemetery, which must illustrate, I think, the same phase though at a dramatically larger scale and in the Attic tradition:
Athens, Kerameikos Museum.  Fragmentary, but it is Bellerophon on Pegasos confronting
an Athenian serpent-tailed chimaera; this bold type takes the tradition that chimaeras
have the forepart of a lion, a goat in the middle, and a snaky tail to the limit.
I'd be very surprised if these two vases were as much as five years apart in date, even making all allowance for that old argument about "advanced" and "conservative" artists, left over from the critical vocabulary (and its assumptions) of the early to mid- twentieth century.
About the painter of the Attic chimaeras, I wrote in the files for my students:
Athens, Kerameikos Museum.  Earliest Attic Black-Figure.  Skyphos-krater by the Attic Chimaera Painter (there is also a Corinthian one).  I do not agree with the revision that equates this style with that of the Nettos Painter.  In any case, this work is contemporary with Transitional Corinthian work, dated ca. 625, so should not be much later; the head of a terracotta figurine, at right, also is still 7th century.
I believe that most emphatically.  That said, we now switch to Boardman's Attic Black Figure Vases (1974), for Athenian work.  That was the first of the World of Art vase-painting books and probably covering the full scope of Greek vase-painting was not yet envisioned.  Sir John Beazley, in ABV (1956) lists The Chimaera Painter on pp. 3-4, and the above vase is no. 3—nowadays, more of us use the Greek spelling, rather than the Latinized, Ceramicus, that good Oxonians of Beazley's generation were taught (he was born in 1885).  By the date of the first Paralipomena pp. 2–5 (1971), pp. 1–5, where this vase is no. 9 (and the Aegina one is no. 1), Beazley's friends and disciples had convinced him that this artist was the same hand as the Nettos Painter.  Despite his authority and his own well considered convictions, Beazley was deferential to other scholars whose work he respected; it wasn't just that he was getting old.  The question arose from the publication of the three great Vari kraters, huge grave markers made in three parts, lid, bowl, and stand, and it is clear (to me) that at least two vase-painters worked on them.  The one illustrated in fig. 6 in Boardman's Black Figure book is 1.10 meters tall, from knob to foot; it is no. 13 in Paralipomena (1971), itself several years earlier than Boardman's Black Figure—and that is why I have to spell out so much here!
In the Eleusis Museum there is a very early neck-amphora, Paralipomena (1971), no. 3, which George Mylonas, the discoverer of the big Middle Protoattic Polyphemos amphora, attributed to the Chimaera hand (earlier publication than ABV, 1956) whose conjoined panthers, on the neck, you would agree is the same artist as did the same on one of the Vari kraters (Anagyrous, by the way, is the same place as Vari):
Eleusis Museum, from Eleusis.  Early Attic black-figure amphora by the same artist as the Kerameikos and Aegina chimaeras and at least one of the Anagyrous kraters, A; whether this is the same hand as the Nessos Painter is the very difficult question.
Eleusis Museum, from Eleusis.  Early Attic black-figure amphora by the
 same artist as the Kerameikos and Aegina chimaeras and at least one
 of the Anagyrous (Vari )kraters, A; whether this is the same hand
 as the Nessos Painter is the very difficult question.

But here is a detail which, when you compare it with the Nettos (=Nessos) on the namepiece of the Nettos Painter in Gisela Richter's Handbook of Greek Art, on facing pages 288 and 289 in the 1959 edition, is obviously by the Nettos Painter (and the bigger the picture, as Boardman Black Figure, fig. 5, the better).  Judge for yourselves: isn't it obvious that these are two artists, even if they may have been benchmates?  Every trait is drawn differently.  "Style is the man himself" (though Buffon had in mind only literary style, since, being a Word man, he thought that drawing and painting were just imitation!).
Detail of Athens, Agora P 1247.  Paralipomena (1971), p. 2, no. 4.  Note that this is NOT
a neck amphora.
But I must not get into introducing elements of teaching that belong in the introductory sessions of a seminar.
Back to the animal-frieze olpai.
Meantime, here is one of Medousa's sisters in pursuit on the Nettos Amphora.  Magnificent Gorgons, both terrible and entertaining:
Athens, NAM.  One of the gorgons, not childlike masks now, on the body
of the name piece of the Nettos Painter.  The floral festoon of lotus flowers
and palmettes are also in real black figure, but they still look quite early.
Early Corinthian Vase-Painting, and the Sphinx Painter
The Sphinx Painter was a little younger than the Painter of Vatican 73 and also quite happy to paint the same kind of animal frieze vases in his long career—the whole duration of EC vase-painting—but he also occasionally painted small vases.  Evidently he was respected in the Corinth potteries, since his influence is widely observable.  His style was straightforward but fluent and very consistent.
Here is an olpe of his in the Louvre and one in the Villa Giulia (Houston has another):
Paris, Louvre.  Shape evolved beyond that used by
the Painter of Vatican 73; the pendant lotus as a
center motif and his highly characteristic siren are
The Villa Giulia one simply rearranges his repertory:
Rome, Villa Giulia.  The pendant lotus may be a bit
more evolved, so too the filling  ornament; the lion is
very perfect Sphinx Painter.
The Syracuse Museum has wonderful vases, and from one of the graves at Megara Hyblaea we see the Sphinx Painter on the EC form of aryballos, round, still quite small, 0.107m tall, so that the figurework is about the same size as the corresponding group on the Louvre olpe, above:
Syracuse, Museo Paolo Orsi.  Sphinx Painter.  EC round aryballos from
Megara Hyblaea
A much more interesting vase, an EC alabastron in the same museum, is the namepiece of the EC Gorgon Bird Painter.  Again, Humfry Payne's drawing used stippling for the added red:

Syracuse, Museo Paolo Orsi, inv. 10701.  Payne, Necrocorinthia, no. 440.

Syracuse 10701, The face of the Gorgon Bird
On the back of this vase, under the handle, there is a lion's protome.  Let no one suppose that some mythical or mystical creature is intended by the artist.  He is just being playful in the best sense of the word: the bearded gorgon mask not only echoes the curves in the wings but masks the awkwardness (if this were a natural animal) of the conjoined avian-felines!  I posted Payne's drawing to show where the added red was.
Another glorious Gorgon, this one a whole Gorgon, is on a larger round aryballos from the Delos excavations, and this publication, 1910, is early enough that I make bold to use its photograph.  In Payne's catalogue it is no. 600, and in Amyx's it has five views on pl. 38.  Its inventory no. is Delos 330, and it is the namepiece of the Painter of Delos 330.  I have made some further study of this artist, but this is not the place for it.  Sufficient here to post this Gorgon, drawn with such panache.  The filling ornament is idiosyncratic (those dot-and-rings), and the vase's size (becoming a little large for a perfume bottle, except as a grave gift) as well as the style of the lion on the back of the vase show that it is near the end of Early Corinthian.
Delos X, no. 330, fig. a on pl. XXVI, row A.
In the second part for this period, I shall begin with the large vases with pictorial scenes.