N Painter

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Amazonomachy, Nikosthenic amphora, circa 520 BC, Louvre (F 111)

Painter N was an Attic black-figure vase painter of the third quarter of the 6th century BC. His real name remains unknown.

Painter N was named after the potter Nikosthenes, as he worked in the latter's workshop and was his most important collaborator. He should not be confused with his contemporary, the Nikosthenes Painter, active in the same workshop. Modern scholarship assumes that Painter N painted all known Nicosthenic amphorae. He also decorated several kyathoi, cups and a psykter. Some scholars suggest that Painter N and the potter Nikosthenes may be identical.

A woman and dog on the neck of Nikosthenic amphora circa 520 BC, Louvre (F 114)

The vases painted by Painter N are mostly dated to the 530s and 520 BC. Especially his larger figures are of considerable quality, while John Boardman condemns his smaller works as simply boring and sometimes sloppy, not very different from mass-produced wares. His plant ornaments are particularly poor.


  • John D. Beazley: Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters, Oxford 1956, p.
  • John Boardman: Schwarzfigurige Vasen aus Athen. Ein Handbuch, Mainz 1977, ISBN 3-8053-0233-9, S. 73