previous next

Early Period

In his Early Period, Douris painted cups made by at least three potters, one of whom, Euphronios, was his teacher. The earliest cups by Douris share the kalos name Chairestratos, and a special border, a trapped meander framing the tondo and serving as a ground-line on the exterior. The subject matter of the early vases focuses on komasts in scenes of revel, or on warriors. A cup in Baltimore (Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B8;

;

) shows two running warriors, the one in front wearing Attic armor and carrying a shield (device: lion head); the second figure, an archer, gorytos on his hip, wears an oriental sleeved and trousered combination with a thin chiton over it, and a soft, peaked hat with ear flaps. These warriors with their limber poses may be compared with the Amazons on the body of Euphronios' volute krater in Arezzo (Arezzo 1465;

;

; ARV2, 15, 6). The oriental sleeved and trousered combination featured by Douris, a favorite also with his contemporaries, was popularized by Euphronios. Like Euphronios, Douris was interested in the contrasting effects of different strengths of glazes, but he uses them in an original way to help unify and focus his tondo compositions, juxtaposing areas of dilute or full-strength glaze with the patterns created by the lines of drapery folds. On the cup in Baltimore, the dilute glaze lines of the archer's chiton contrast with the eastern style black striped garment worn underneath. In this scene Douris utilizes a standard compositional type which reflects an actual situation in battle when lightly-armed archers shot from the cover of the hoplite's shield. The round shields echoing the circular frame combined with the diagonal lines of limbs and spears make it an attractive tondo composition. Here, Douris extends the repetition of diagonals created by the juxtaposed limbs by giving the archer a spear paralleling that of the hoplite instead of the bow he should normally carry. Douris exhibits skill and individuality in using groups of lines and gradations of glaze to help centralize and enliven the scene.

Euphronios also influenced Douris' fellow cup painters, especially Onesimos, who, like Douris, painted cups made by Euphronios. Beazley suggested that Douris and Onesimos sat side by side in Euphronios' workshop and the two younger painters shared subject matter, ornamental borders, and unusual techniques in their early periods; yet their artistic personalities were different. Comparison of the fight scene on the exterior of a cup by Douris in Boston (Boston 00.338; CB no. 125;

;

) with a fight scene by Onesimos also on a cup in Boston (Boston 01.8021;

;

; CB no. 75; ARV2, 320, 14) makes the difference clear. The figures by Douris seem posed, graceful, and beautifully spaced in the composition. In the scene by Onesimos the figures are larger and closer together, the proportions somewhat clumsy, and it is clear that Onesimos' prime concerns are to convey vigorous action, vivid characterization, and effective narrative. Like Euphronios, Onesimos is willing to sacrifice elegance to naturalistic effect. Douris is not; his primary interest is in creating an elegant, graceful picture, but it might have been at least partly due to Onesimos that he developed his own more subtle method of story-telling. Euphronios and Onesimos remained the major influences on Douris throughout the Early Period.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: