CLASSES OF VASES
ALTHOUGH the painting of vases is necessarily among the lower forms of art, a form seldom practised by men of high talent or originality, yet vases are an inestimable record of one side of Greek art. They cannot reproduce the colouring of Greek frescoes, nor the impression of their dignity and charm, but they show us the character of grouping and of drawing in Greek painting. They are first-hand documents, belonging to the best period of art; treating the same subjects as were treated by the great masters, and perhaps in a not dissimilar way. They are mostly from the workshops of Athens, and show some of the finer qualities of Attic work -- simplicity, grace, and a wonderful appreciation of the beauty of the human form. And they are especially interesting as treating many of the themes of Greek mythology in an independent and yet not very dissimilar way from the poets.
Periods and Schools of Vases. -- It is not intended here to give, even in outline, a history of Greek vase-painting. Than such a history nothing is more urgently needed for the teaching of archaeology. The student must be referred to Rayet et Collignon's Céramique grecque and the articles in Baumeister's Denkmäler and Smith Dictionary of Antiquities, which are the best summaries at present attainable. All that will be here