Ancient authors and modern archaeologists
The pottery that had attracted the greatest attention from the mid-eighteenth century was the Athenian, particularly the red-figure made between about 520 and 380 BC. Here the draughtsmanship was more accomplished than it had been in most earlier black-figure, and more detailed than it was in most later red-figure. The draughtsmanship of the finest vases excited so much interest in the 18th century that Winckelmann had likened the pictures to drawings by Raphael. Winckelmann's friend, the painter Mengs, who made this portrait, had formed his own collection which numbered more than 300 by 1759.