Archaeology Odyssey 2:2, May/June 1999

The Master from Apulia

Living in southeastern Italy during the late fourth century B.C., the Darius Painter decorated vases with scenes from Greek Mythology—sometimes inspired by Alexander the Great’s campaigns in the East.

By John Herrmann

The Darius Painter not only recreated the shimmering world of Greek myth on the surfaces of his vases; he also acted as a kind of journalist-bard, painting scenes of historical events as news came in from far-flung places.

A Greek-speaker, the Darius Painter probably worked both in the Greek city of Taras (modern Taranto) and the native Italic city of Canosa, both in Apulia, the southeastern section of Italy. His works display vast knowledge of Greek literature, and he frequently named his figures with meticulous Greek inscriptions. But like virtually all his fellows, he did not sign his vases.

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