The workshop structure of the Group of Polygnotos was apparently complex, and as Beazley admitted, the boundaries defining individual hands in this Group are often hard to delineate.1
The large number of vases that Beazley called "Group of Polygnotos, undetermined" can be viewed as a reflection of this difficulty and perhaps as evidence for a broader Polygnotan style that may exceed the specific parameters of a workshop. Associations between the Polygnotan Group and other painters outside it have also been traced through similarities of ornament and potting, and further connections have been derived from inscriptions.2
Archaeological evidence has suggested some chronological relationships as well.3
Within the workshop, developments in the potting of stamnoi, for example, suggest relationships among painters of these vases that confirm associations suggested by painting style.4
As defined by Beazley, the Group of Polygnotos does have a convincing homogeneity. The Group concentrated on large pots, although almost every common shape was decorated at least once, and Polygnotan painters did manifest certain preferences for subject matter, although the variety of subjects that they represented was extensive. In spite of its size, the Group does have an underlying stylistic consistency that keeps it distinct from contemporary vase painting workshops.
The Polygnotos who is the eponymous leader of the Group was one of three painters who signed this name on vases. J.D. Beazley recognized that the other two, whom he named the Lewis Painter5
and the Nausicaa Painter,6
were distinct both from each other and from Polygnotos I, as Beazley called him, and because he was the most important and prolific of the three, it is Polygnotos I to whom Beazley and others refer when using the name.