The Attic Red Figure Calyx-Krater by Euphronios from Cerveteri utilized red figure to paint drawings with a brush. The values were expressed with natural colors while the background was painted black to enhance the strong contrasting effect. The result was greater enhancement of illustration but with a softer feel. The characteristics of Calyx-Krater, horn-shaped handles, are located on the bottom surface of the pottery. Alongside flower designs, the illustrations are divided into two sides. Side A has an example of the legendary wrestling scene between Antaeus and Herakles. The fierce scrunching of Antaeus' mouth, arched eyebrows and Herakles' tight buttocks, pointed toes, and mouth shape suggestive of shouting show how the intensified situation must have been physically demanding. This wrestling scene is a famous legendary story of how Antaeus, the son of Poseidon and the Earth Goddess, killed many people by betting on wrestling matches. Determined to banish Antaeus, Herakles started the betting game. After realizing Antaeus extracts power from the earth through his mother, Herakles held him with his arms and chocked him to death by raising him up from the ground (Louvre 1992). Such Greek mythologies were extremely common during the time.In addition to the pottery making technique, drawing onto the pottery allowed for the further development of the combined art form. On side B, which shows a musical competition scene, four young men deeply focused, are each holding the aulos instrument. Subjects were also favorites of the Greeks as seen in many of the pottery. Pottery with illustrations of Greek religion and culture were transported to Etruria by means of seaborne trade.
Around the Archaic period, when the Greece created the Attic Red Figure Calyx-Krater, Greece utilized the ocean route to expand trade with surrounding countries, including Italian area of Etruria. Michael Vickers stated that the pottery transported from Athens to Etruria had high market value as depending on its use. It was widely utilized by both the poor Etrurians and the rich Eturians (Spivey 1991, 134). Due to its high market value, a large number of Greek potteries were transported to Etruria. However, because it merely had high market value, pottery could not become the primary product of trade with Etruria. Trade was made possible because the Greece and Etruria had similar religion and culture. Many Greek ceramics have illustrations of Greek relation and culture. The god, the hero, Herakles, sports, and musical artwork on Attic Red Figure Calyx-Krater portray Greek cultural honor for the gods and heroes and is a factor that expresses holy figures. Such religious and cultural aspects were accepted and shared by the people of Etruria. Similar to Greeks, Etruscans had great respect for Herakles, as they viewed him as a hero and furthermore, personified the gods (Spivey 1991, 145). In addition, the Etrurian city development and trade expansion supplied opportunities and money for entertainment such as sports and music, which in turn became established as part of the culture.
The existence of market value and similar religion and culture allowed for Greek pottery with sports and music illustrations to flow into Etruria by means of trade.However, usage of the goods between the Etruria and Greek were entirely different. In Greece, potteries such as the Attic Red-figure Calyx-krater were used as a jug like product utilized for mixing wine and water. In Etruria, was used as tomb decorations or as a tool for placing food and drinks for the dead souls (Spivey 1991, 148.Etrurians belief was similar to that of the ancient Egyptians, in which survival and prosperity in the afterlife was believed to be dependent on how well the corpse is handled. Contrast to such beliefs of the Etruscans, Greeks did not believe in an afterlife. Greeks placed greater importance on the surviving people and their emotions than the afterlife of dead souls (Stokstad and Cothren 2014, 105). Usage of pottery in Greece also differed depending on the shape and type, but they did not leave the pottery at tomb sites for the dead. In both cultures, religion and cultural aspects were utilized to import Greek pottery and combined with unique Etrurian utilization methods to develop tomb art.
The relationship between Etrurian art and Greek art seems to have greater significance in art, greatly influenced by the developed and sophisticated Greek culture was successfully morphed into an independent form. The grand importance of the Greek influenced Etrurian culture lies in the fact that it had molded into Roman culture, which unified Italy. Etrurians utilized Greek art and culture to develop their unique culture such as that of tomb art.Artifacts such as pottery allow for us to peek into the unique Etrurian art, religion, and culture.
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