Exequias: The Greek master of ceramics

Imagine walking around Athens in the 6th century B.C., where art and mythology intertwine at every corner. Among the artists of that era, one stands out: Exequias. This ceramist and painter not only captured the essence of Greek myths, but also transformed the technique of the black figures, taking it to its maximum expression. In this article, I invite you to discover his genius and his legacy that still resonates in the history of art.

Exequias and its Innovative Technique

Exekias or Exequias, active between 545 and 530 BC, is considered an artistic visionary. His mastery of the black pottery technique, where he used a special clay that turned black when fired, with details created through incisions, places him as one of the greatest painters of Attic vessels.

Emblematic Works of Exekias

The Cup of Dionysus

One of his most famous works is the so-called “Cup of Dionysus”. This kylix or wine glass, shows the god Dionysus sailing on a boat surrounded by dolphins. What is exceptional about this piece is the depiction of a quiet moment rather than action, revealing Exekias’ penchant for capturing the psychology of mythological scenes.

Obra griega Exequias
This piece is an exact reproduction of Exequias’ masterpiece.
Artwork by DivineGreekArt

Ajax and Achilles Playing

Another masterpiece is this amphora from around 530 B.C. where he portrays Ajax and Achilles playing with pessi, a game invented by Palamedes. This scene offers us an intimate and personal view of these heroes. Both are dressed for war, playing dice to pass the time during a turn in the Trojan War.

Exekias: More than a Painter

In addition to his well-known vessels, Exekias ventured into other formats. He made funerary plaques in Athens and his interest in different subjects is reflected in his diverse work, such as the water pitcher showing a Heracles fighting with the lion of Nemea.

The Legacy of Exequias

Exekias not only left a legacy of beautiful works, but he was also the teacher of other great artists, such as the painter Andókides or Andocides and the Painter Lysippides. His influence extended beyond his lifetime, marking a before and after in the history of Greek ceramics.

In the history of art, few artists manage to transcend as Exekias did. His ability to capture the essence of Greek myths and his technical innovation make him an indispensable figure. By reflecting on his work, we not only appreciate his art, but also come closer to understanding the soul of a culture and an era that still fascinates us today. Exekias, the master of black ceramics, continues to inspire generations of artists and art lovers.


Buy unique Greek reproductions

Fortunately, there are artisans who make reproductions identical to the classical works of art that were made in ancient Greece and are only found in museums, making them affordable.

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