Materials & Techniques

Red-Figure Greek Vase Painting

A method for decorating clay objects that was developed by the ancient Athenians, this type of ceramic decoration appears in red and the background in black. The background is painted on and allowed to dry while all linear detail in the decoration is made by painting on lines. The painted background and lines turn black during the firing of the pottery, leaving the design in the red color of the fired clay. Red-figure was popular in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C.E. in ancient Greece, and considered a more sophisticated style that emerged after the black-figure technique.

Adapted from

Ken Kelsey, DMA unpublished material, 1995.