Etrusco-Corinthian Olpe


Italy, between 600-575 BCE

(HFMA# 2004.069.007, gift of James and Aneta McIntyre)

Etrusco-Corinthian was a universal Etruscan style of pottery, imitating and adapting the Transitional and Ripe Corinthian style (in the black-figure technique) between 630 and about 540 B.C.E., with its main centers of production located at Vulci, Caere, and Tarquinia. Some characteristic features of the Etrusco-Corinthian style are the grotesquely proportioned animal figures with shoulder markings converted into meaningless circles.

This pear-shaped wine pitcher (olpe) is an example of one of the most popular shapes with typical animal-style decoration in three registers, executed in a dark brown to red brown slip with added red and white paint, as well as incised details. The "Orientalizing" decorative elements include rays, bands, rosettes and "blob-rosettes," dogs, boars, goats, a goose, and a panther.

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