From the Minoan settlements on Crete to classical Athens, the ancient Greeks depicted scenes of their everyday life on their pottery. Greek pottery was also painted with scenes of Greek legends and myths and of epic battles. The habit of painting scenes of everyday life really took hold with the development of a new red figure painting technique that allowed artists to paint human figures in greater detail.

The Greek Life

Archaeologists have discovered red-figure technique pottery depicting many aspects of everyday life in ancient Greece. Common scenes include Greek hoplites – citizen soldiers – preparing to go to war, athletic competition and musical performances. As the Greeks perfected the red-figure technique, they began to depict women performing domestic duties and sentimental scenes such as wedding preparations, youths leaving home, and funerary scenes. In many cases, the scenes depicted on the pottery vessels, considered along with their shape, give clues regarding the type of people who used them and what purposes they served.