Pottery Art Depicting Athletes Training:
Although Greek classical sculptures are more famous for representing classical virtues then pottery, pottery art still portrays humanistic characteristics. The Dinos painter, who created pottery scenes during the late 5th century, produced a bowl depicting athletes training naked. This artwork maintains similar features of high classical sculpture. In this scene, nine youths are training for various athletic events. Two trainers and a flutist are helping these athletes train. There is a staunch contrast between the athletes and the other individuals being depicted. The athletes are youths, while the trainers are older more experienced men shown by their facial hair. There are no clothes to hide the athlete’s visible strength, while the trainers and flutist are fully clothed. The large black space between these men allows the viewer to focus completely on the individuals. Subtle geometric designs on the borders are all that distracts the viewer from the individuals in the scene. The emphasis on the individuals is a classic theme of humanism. The characters in the scene are not designed with intricacy but are rather plain, with “simplified musculature”. (Biers, 196) The depiction of athletes with a simplified human form was an effort to suppress the movement towards naturalism and encourage idealism. “Individual traits were suppressed, as were extremes of youth and old age; almost the only subjects were perfect men and women in their prime.” (Biers, 196) Dinos created these simplified athletic forms in order to preserve the ideal form of the human body. These individuals have no emotion in their facial expressions, which is a trademark of the Phidian style in the late 5th century. The pottery art shown here portrays the humanistic values of late 5th century Greece.
Biers, William. The Archeology of Greece. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1980. Print.
Shanks, Michael. Classical Archeology of Greece. London: Routledge. 1996. Print
Whitley, James. The Archeology of Ancient Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2001. Print.