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Beldam Painter

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Beldam Painter

(active ca. 500 BCE - ca. 450 BCE)

Attic vase painter, active ca. 500-ca. 450 BCE)

Note: The Beldam Painter was the last painter of large Attic black-figure lekythoi and the first artist to decorate this shape with burial scenes, looking forward to the tomb-lekythoi of the Classical period. He was also the first to paint false-bottomed lekythoi, of which his namesake vase is the oldest preserved example (ca. 475 BCE). He often depicted unusual and dramatic subjects, as in his representations of "Satyrs Tormenting a Woman (the "Belle Dame" of his namesake vase) and "Pirates Drowning Bound Men." He also painted smaller lekythoi of inferior quality (chimney-mouthed lekythoi) which are mass-produced vases with little variation in form and decoration. The figures on these are typically small and sketchy and paired lines were often incised into the clay beneath the picture while the clay was still wet. The Beldam Painter's workshop specialized in pattern lekythoi decorated with ivy, meshwork, chessboard, and palmette designs. These were exported in large quantities throughout the Mediterranean area and even copied in southern Italy and other places. The use of purely ornamental designs was adopted by other workshops for kantharoi, skyphoi and cups. The Beldam Painter probably also made at least one red-figure lekythos.

Contains information from the J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Research Institute, the Union List of Artist Names, which is made available under the ODC Attribution License.

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