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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : British Museum : Room 14 – Greek Vases 1

Today we arrive at the British Museum Room 14 – Greek Vases 1, for our weekly Museum Guide excursion, led by Divvya Nirula.

The British Museum houses a vast collection of Greek vases, which is why over the next few posts, we shall explore these. Presented here are our top three must-see objects on view here. Next time you visit the museum, do not miss these!

1. Alabastron, circa 480 BC , by Unknown
2. Amphora, 530-500 BC, by Unknown
3. Chous, 420BC-400BC, by Unknown

Image credit for artworks : British Museum

Some fun facts about the Museum :

  • Room 14 features decorative and utilitarian pottery from Athens and other parts of Greece.
  • Some of the vases date back to the 6th century BC. They depict scenes of daily life during the era, and provide a rare insight into the culture of ancient Greece.
  • Notably, as mentioned on the British Museum’s website – one of the vases is signed by its artist – Andokides. Andokides was a leader of a group of potters at the time. His signature on the vase is especially interesting as it highlights that, as is the case with contemporary art, ancient artists too liked to sign and take ownership of their artistic creations.
  • Vases are rendered in the famous red-figure technique. Herein, the vase or pot is first painted black, and then decorative figures are painted on to it in red paint. Using this technique, the artist is successfully able to focus the viewer’s attention to certain parts or aspects of the design.
  • Scenes of nature, hunting, of fights and war are commonly depicted on these vases.

A Final Thought :

For historians and scholars, pottery is an important source of information about any ancient culture. Pots and vases tend to be durable in nature and survive through time. Any inscriptions or drawings made on these provide great insight into the life, history and culture of the people who made and used these pots. The vast collection of Greek vases at the British Museum are therefore an absolute treat to explore.


Visit Art From Us Archive for Museum Guide collated by Divvya Nirula. Here you shall find more suggestions on where you should visit next. And what you should see there. 

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