Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Copulating Greek Couple

The Ancient Greeks had an open and relaxed attitude to sex and this delightful painting, from the inside of an Attic Red figure Greek cup, gives us a joyful, everyday scene. 

Painted about 470 BC we know the artist but not his name.  It is attributed to the man known as the Triptolemos painter (after one of his other works) who worked in Athens between 490 and 470 BC.  We know he worked in the workshop of another painter and potter, Euphropnios, who was one of those who introduced the change from black figures on a red background ('black figure pottery') to red figures on a black background ('red figure pottery') at this time.  In Ancient Greece the potters were the entrepreneurs and the painters merely employees.

A middle aged man is caught on his knees, forcefully taking his lady friend who grips the edge of the bed in ecstasy, her legs up over his shoulders for deeper penetration.  They gaze at each other raptly.  It is a scene that speaks of the universal pleasure of sex, across the millennia.

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