painter. Greek potter and vase
painter in the black-figured style; his figures are lithe, vigorous and
The Amasis Painter (active around 550-510 BCE in
Athens) was an ancient Greek vase painter of the black figure style. He
owes his name to the fact that eight of the potter Amasis's manufactured
marked work ("Amasis made me") are painted by the same painter, who we
therefore called the Amasis painter. Today approximately 90 works are
attributed to him.
In his early works, he is still tied at the old traditions with
excessively long figures with small heads and angular movements.
Contrary to his predecessors he soon began to fill his own work with
life and tension. He loosened his figures up and enriched it at the same
time created new composition forms. The trigger for this change was most
likely around 540 BCE. when imported red figure painting appeared with
their new representation possibilities, from which he was obviously
inspired. He took over from the young red figure painters richer
ornamentation and transferred it, as far as possible, to his black
figure painting. Contrary to some younger contemporaries, like the
Andokides Painter, whom he perhaps influenced, he held to the black
figure style and did not change over. Nevertheless he seems to have
occasionally attempted the red figure style.
The name Amasis, a hellenized form of the Egyptian A-ahmes, has
resulted in much scholarly debate. There are two suggestions: that he
was an Athenian named after the king Amasis or that he was an Egyptian
or Naucratian immigrant to Athens. Those who support the former
hypothesis argue that the potter and the painter are two different men.
A further argument in support of his non-Athenian origin is the period
he lived. Solon is said to set out to see the world and came to the
court of Amasis in Egypt (Herodotus I,30-46) and Solon encouraged
foreign craftsmen to settle in Athens by offering them Athenian