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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 721 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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II114I Ilit ^t11~IF1111 a ff!! I e I s a, .i comedy is seen in subjects derived from the phlyakes, a kind of farce or burlesque popular in southern Italy, and here again the setting is adapted from the stage, some vases having parodies of myths, others comic scenes of daily life. Many vases of this period, especially those of large size, were expressly designed for funeral purposes. Some of these bear representations of the underworld, with groups of figures under-going punishment. On others shrines or tombs are depicted—sometimes containing effigies of the deceased, at which the relatives make offerings—as on the Athenian lekythoi. But by far the greater portion of the subjects are taken from daily life, many of these being of a purely fanciful andmeaningless character like the designs on Sevres or Meissen china; the commonest type is that of a young man and a woman exchanging presents, the presence of Eros implying that they are scenes of courtship. The vases of this period are usually grouped in three or four different types, corresponding to the ancient districts of Lucania, Campania and Apulia, each with its special features of technique, drawing and subjects. In Lucanian vases the drawing is bold and restrained, more akin to that of the Attic vases; in Campania a fondness for polychromy is combined with careless execution. In Apulia a tendency to magnificence exemplified in the great funeral and theatrical vases is followed by a period of decadence characterized by small vases of fantastic form with purely decorative subjects. Besides these we have the school of Paestum, represented by two artists who have left their names on their vases, Assteas and Python. A well-known example of the work of the former is a krater in Madrid with Heracles destroying his children, a theatrical and quasi-grotesque composi- tion, and there is a fine example of Python's work in a krater in the British Museum, with Alkmena, the mother of Heracles, placed on the funeral pyre by her husband Amphitryon, and rain-nymphs quenching the flames (Plate I. fig. 55). About the end of the 3rd century B.C. the manufacture of painted vases would seem to have been rapidly dying out in Italy, as had long been the case elsewhere, and their place is taken by unpainted vases modelled in the form of animals and human figures, or ornamented with stamped and moulded reliefs. These in their turn gave way to the Arretine and so-called Samian " red wares of the Roman period. In all these wares we see a tendency to the imitation of metal vases, which, with the growth of luxury in the Hellenistic age, had entirely replaced painted pottery both for use and ornament; the pottery of the period is reduced to a subordinate and utilitarian position, merely supplying the demands of those in the humbler spheres of life. Collections.—The majority of the painted vases now in existence are to be found in the various public museums and collections of Europe, of which the largest and most important are the British Museum, the Louvre and the Berlin Museum. Next to these come the collections at Athens, Naples, Munich, Vienna, Rome and St Petersburg; isolated specimens of importance are to be found in other museums, as at Florence, Madrid or the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris. Most of the great private collections of the two preceding centuries have now been dispersed. In recent years the Boston Museum has raised America to a level with Europe in this respect; and the Metropolitan Museum at New York contains a vast collection of Cypriote pottery.
End of Article: II114I

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