white-ground

The technique known as 'white-ground' was developed in the late 6th century BC, but came into its own in Athens in the 5th century BC. The vase would be covered with a light slip of 'kaolinite', perhaps to make it appear more valuable, or even to ceate the illusion of ivory or marble. 

A favourite shape in the white-ground technique was the slim, elegant lekythos. Used to hold olive oil (a false neck was inserted for economy), these were often used as grave markers in lieu of expensive gravestones ('stelai'), or they would frequently be placed on the steps of a tomb or stele. The scenes are usually pensive, tender and evocative. Accents of reds, blues, greens and ochres bring to life the delicately drawn figures, their clothing and the context in which we are invited to glimpse them. Their imagery reminds us of the transition between life and death, the poignancy of parting and the fragility of the human condition.

There are also a number of kylikes (or drinking cups) in the white-ground technique, as well as various shapes, but the lekythos remains the dominant one. Famous Athenian painters in the white-ground technique include the Achilles Painter, the Sabouroff Painter, the Reed Painter and the Phiale Painter.

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mini white-ground lekythos: Hera
SKU: 739
VO-134
status: in stock!
VO-134
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£22.00
mini white-ground lekythos: musician
SKU: 740
VO-135
status: in stock
VO-135
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£22.00
mini white-ground lekythos: Zeus
SKU: 741
VO-137
status: in stock
VO-137
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£22.00
white-ground kalyx krater: the young Dionysos
SKU: 613
VM-51
status: on order - back soon!
VM-51
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£495.00
white-ground lekythos: a tender farewell (special order item)
SKU: 549B
VO-120
status: please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery!
VO-120
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£135.00
white-ground lekythos: a warrior's farewell (special order item)
SKU: 504
VO-130
status: please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery!
VO-130
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£325.00
white-ground lekythos: Athenian lady with slavegirl
VM-61
status: in stock
VM-61
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£200.00
white-ground lekythos: Charon the ferryman (special order item)
SKU: 724
VO-68
status: available to order - please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery
VO-68
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£175.00
white-ground lekythos: Hermes and a soul (special order item)
SKU: 575/B
VO-121
status: please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery!
VO-121
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£100.00
white-ground lekythos: in memory of a musician
SKU: 618
VO-124
status: in stock
VO-124
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£75.00
white-ground lekythos: Muses on Mount Helicon (special order item)
SKU: 500
VO-128
status: hand-painted to order : please allow 4-5 weeks
VO-128
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£335.00
white-ground lekythos: Muses on Mount Helikon
VM-63
status: in stock
VM-63
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£200.00
white-ground lekythos: Muses on Mount Helikon (hand-painted to order)
VM-70
status: please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery
VM-70
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£100.00
white-ground lekythos: Oedipus and the sphinx
SKU: 577
VO-126
status: in stock
VO-126
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£40.00
white-ground lekythos: offerings at a musician's tomb (special order item)
SKU: 917
VO-69
status: please allow 2-3 weeks or so for delivery
VO-69
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£225.00
white-ground lekythos: offerings at a tomb
SKU: 179 CK 30cm
VM-60
status: in stock
VM-60
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£135.00
white-ground lekythos: seated woman with slavegirl
SKU: 549
VO-132
status: in stock
VO-132
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£125.00
white-ground lekythos: tender farewell
SKU: 502
VO-129
status: in stock
VO-129
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£265.00
white-ground lekythos: woman and slavegirl (special order item)
SKU: 576
VO-131
status: hand-painted to order: please allow 4-6 weeks
VO-131
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£245.00
white-ground pyxis: the Judgement of Paris (special order item)
SKU: 589
VM-52
status: please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery!
VM-52
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£425.00

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