The Glory That Was Greece

the terra-cotta. But these funeral lecythi have the body of the vase covered with a slip of white or cream colour, and upon it the figures and scenes are painted in polychrome. In this way we have surviving very rare and beautiful effects of colour-drawing in this the noblest period of Greek art. The work of the great artists Polygnotus and Zeuxis has, of course, perished utterly, and we must rely on these little oil-jars, probably the work of quite obscure craftsmen, for our nearest representation of it. Here again we are amazed at the effect produced by simple means. Even where the colours have faded we trace a delicacy and precision of line in the drawing which is simply astonishing. No artists have ever done so much with a single stroke of the brush. It implies a wonderful confidence and mastery of technique.

Our museums also contain a great number of the marble slabs, decorated in high relief, which formed the

← Page-508 p.509 Page-510 →