A technique of vase preparation using a thick slip on which the painted figures are drawn. The term is mainly applied to some vases decorated in Athens in the black figure technique in the later 6th and early 5th centuries BC; then to vases through the 5th century where the decoration is as red figure, in outline and often with much added colour. It is used early on cups and craters, and especially later on lekythoi. It was much favoured for grave vases in the second half of the 5th century.
Above left: Typical Black-figure white-ground technique. Athenian lekythos. Ashmolean Museum 1934.247.Photo. Beazley Archive. © Beazley Archive, Ian Hiley
Above right: Typical red-figure white-ground technique. Athenian lekythos. Ashmolean museum 1896.41 (V 545). Photo. Beazley Archive. © Beazley Archive, Ian Hiley