All the components of Greek art which were to culminate in the Classical styles of the 5th century BC can be traced in the development of vase painting in early Greece, from the 11th to the 6th centuries BC. Geometric styles gave way by about 700 BC to the influence of the Near East; in the following Orientalizing period the Greeks learned how to tell a story in pictures; and by the 6th century various regional studios were competing with the dominant Corinthian and Athenian potters and painters for markets east and west. Early Greek vases display the Greek painter's craft at its most mathematical, its most colorful, and in its most directly narrative mode. They closely mirror the history and culture of their day. The later achievements of Greek art can only be fully understood in the light of this formative period of variety, competition and experiment.
Identifies features in the early art that contributed to the classical styles. Begins when geometric styles were giving way to influences from the Near East and painters began telling stories. Boardman's three companion volumes cover Athenian black figure vases and Athenian red figure vases of the archaic and classical periods. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.