Ancient Greek Pottery
Geometric period Greek vase
Very few Greek painted pictures have survived the 2500 years since they were painted. So most of what we know about Greek art comes from the pictures they painted on fancy pottery. Pottery, even if it gets broken, can be put back together, and a good deal of it has even survived whole, mostly in Etruscan tombs.
Greek painted pottery changed a good deal over time, from the Stone Age to the Hellenistic period. For convenience, we divide it into seven different time periods. Click on each period to find out more.
Stone Age Greek Pottery
Early Bronze Age Greek Pottery
Late Bronze Age Greek Pottery
Sub-Mycenean (Dark Age) Greek Pottery
Geometric Greek Pottery
Black-Figure Greek Pottery
Red-Figure Greek Pottery
To find out more about Greek pottery, check out these books from Amazon or at your library:
A Greek Potter, by Giovanni Caselli (1986). A day in the life of a Greek potter, for kids ages 9-12.
Hands-On Ancient People, Volume 2: Art Activities about Minoans, Mycenaeans, Trojans, Ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans, by Yvonne Merrill (2004). For kids - has a project for making your own Greek amphora.
The History of Greek Vases, by John Boardman (2001). For adults, but clear and readable, by an expert who has written most of the main books on Greek pottery.
Understanding Greek Vases: A Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques (Getty Museum Publications 2002) by Andrew J. Clark, Maya Elston, Mary Louise Hart.
Looking at Greek Vases, by Tom Rasmussen, Nigel Spivey (1991) (each chapter is written by a different specialist, but the book as a whole is intended for non-specialists).