Oinochoe (Pitcher)

A work made of terracotta, bucchero sottile ware.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, bucchero sottile ware.

Date:

550/500 BC

Artist:

Etruscan

About this artwork

This pitcher for wine is called an oinochoe, a combination of the Greek oînos, "wine" and khéō, "I pour". The shiny black glaze is the result of a technique invented by the Etruscans, a powerful ancient civilization in ancient Italy - near modern day Tuscany - with whom the Greeks regularly traded. The glossy black pottery later known as Bucchero ware was made from the 7th century to the late 5th century BC. Produced for both domestic and funerary uses, Bucchero ware was popular locally and across the Mediterranean. Potters achieved the signature shiny black surface by firing the pottery in a reduced-oxygen kiln, where restricted ventilation caused the iron oxide in the coarse Tuscan clay to turn black. Before firing, the clay was burnished, or polished with a smooth stone, resulting in the sought-after sheen, which mimicked the gleam of bronze vessels.

Currently Off View

Ancient and Byzantine Art

Culture

Ancient Etruscan

Title

Oinochoe (Pitcher)

Origin

Etruria

Date

Made 550 BC–500 BC

Medium

terracotta, Bucchero sottile ware

Dimensions

35.6 × 20.3 × 19.1 cm (14 × 8 × 7.5 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Philip D. Armour and Charles L. Hutchinson

Reference Number

1889.19

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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