Canosa vases

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Ornamentally decorated "ladle" in the Canosa style, 4th century BC, private collection (Germany)

Canosa vases are a type of pottery belonging to ancient Apulian vase painting. They were produced between 350 and 300 BC and designed exclusively for funerary use.

The distinguishing feature of Canosa vases are the water-soluble paints. Blue, red, yellow, light purple and brown paints were applied to a white ground. Popular shapes included volute kraters, kantharoi, oinochoai and askoi. A common motif were female figures, standing on a small pedestal. Additionally decoration included applied plastic winged heads, gorgons and similar motifs. The paintings often depicted Nike, chariots, battle scenes, naiskoi and winged female figures. The main find locations of such vessels are Canosa (after which the vases are now named), Arpi and Ordona.


  • Rolf Hurschmann: Canosiner Vasen, in: Der Neue Pauly 2 (1997), Col. 965f.

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