Orientalizing

Vase example
  • An example of Orientalizing

In the Protogeometric and Geometric styles the technique is usually no more than dark paint on a light ground. 'Orientalizing' is the name given to the next style, produced in a variety of techniques, under growing eastern influence from about 700 BC. Some Greeks, among them the Athenians, outlined their figures on pottery, as they might have painted them on walls. Others, initially the Corinthians, incised detail on the silhouette of figures with a sharp tool, as they might have chased decoration on metal. For a century or more, depending on where they lived, Greeks developed city-states, some under powerful tyrants, and gained access to more eastern 'luxury' goods. From small, portable objects, for example, of metal or ivory, they took common decorative motifs and adapted them to their own needs. Enjoyment of eastern luxuries was, however, restricted from the mid-6th century, after which the Persians began to conquer Greek settlements in the east, and even to threaten Greeks at home.