Black Figure

Boxers, one with blood, by the Nikosthenes painter. Attic Black-Figure Amphora, ca. 520-510 B.C.
Boxers, by the Nikosthenes painter. Attic Black-Figure Amphora, ca. 520-510 B.C. British Museum. [www.flickr.com/photos/pankration/] Pankration Research Institute @ Flickr.com

Definition: The term "black figure" refers to a style of Greek pottery in which the figures represented on the clay are painted. The background remains red (clay-colored). The painted figures are black -- whence the name. Using engraving tools, details are inscribed through the black paint, revealing the underlying red.

Examples: Black Figure painting, which is used on amphorae and other vessels, is an older form of painting than red figure.

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Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. "Black Figure." ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2016, thoughtco.com/black-figure-111476. Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. (2016, February 19). Black Figure. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/black-figure-111476 Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. "Black Figure." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/black-figure-111476 (accessed December 14, 2017).