Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
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Collections / Sections / Greek collection

Italiot red-figure pottery

Shortly after the mid-5th century BC, which marked the climax of imports of Attic pottery to southern Italy and Sicily, several cities in Magna Graecia began to produce red-figure pottery imitating Attic ware.

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The first phase of production (440–430 BC) developed in the Greek cities around the Gulf of Taranto and the items closely resembled coeval Attic models. The leading cities for this production were in the areas of Lucania (Metapontum for the “proto-Lucanian” school) and Tarentum (the “proto-Apulian” school). The growing demand for prized ware among the local aristocracy and domestic competition among the workshops of the Kerameikos of Athens led Attic artisans to move to southern Italy as early as the mid-5th century BC. The events following the Peloponnesian War and the Athenian crisis of the late 5th century encouraged and consolidated Italiot production, which would be very popular throughout the 4th century BC. As of the late 5th and early 4th centuries BC, in addition to the Lucanian and Apulian schools other distinctive productions also developed in Sicily (Leontium, Gela and Syracuse) and Campania (Cumae, Abella and Capua, and the Paestum school).

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Exhibition rooms | Rooms V and VI - Greek collection