VASES: SPACE, BALANCE, PERSPECTIVE
A Greek Vase as a Whole. -- The form, the decoration, the designs, all go together, and are all worked out in relation one to the other. The form requires a certain arrangement of the linear decoration, the decoration suggests the form of the subjects to be drawn on the vase. And all these elements of the vase not only bear simple relations one to the other, but are in themselves simple.
But the vase which is a whole is made up of parts, each of which has a purpose in subordination to the purpose of the whole. The mouth in the oenochoe is made in trefoil shape for pouring, in an amphora wide to admit the ladle, in the crater wider still. The lekythos has but one handle, as it is used for oil, the amphora two, that it may be lifted with two hands, the hydria three, two for the lifting of the vessel and one whereby it may be held in place on the shoulder. The breadth of the foot is carefully proportioned to the diameter of the vase, so as to secure a reasonable stability. Handles, foot, and neck, it may be added, were usually made apart, and joined on to the trunk of the vase when shaped, but of course before baking.
Some of the strict rational laws of decoration which we found to be potent in architecture hold in the case of vases also. Here also the parts which bear the most strain are the least adorned, and such decoration as they bear follows the line of