RealmgART: Red-Figure Eurydice

The Foremost Artist.

Red-figure art of the Amazon Eurydice.

So, first things first, I did a bit more research into the actual method of Ancient Greek vase painting (full disclosure, that link could be considered NSFW in the strictest sense; the Greeks didn’t really paint people wearing clothes…) — if not to try to actually replicate the process digitally (which I’m not sure is even possible), at least to better understand it.

I won’t get into too much detail, but there’s a more complete explanation here via the Metropolitan Museum of Art (potentially also NSFW but once again only in the context of historical art).

Basically, in black-figure pottery, the background is left the colour of the clay (barring anything changes caused by firing and glazing) and the black figures are black because they’re made of slip, basically a thick clay used like glue to connect, say, the arms to the body of a pot or vase or for decoration because it turns black when it’s fired.

Red-figure is the opposite. The entire background is covered in slip, the figures are outlined but left uncovered (and therefore stay red), with details painted on. The red-figure method apparently allows for more detail in the figures.

But, again, I’m not sure there’s any way I can actually replicate these methods working digitally.

All of which is to say, here’s Eurydice.

Etymologically, it means something like “broad justice” [or possibly “intense judgement”], but that’s not important.

The [meta] reference is to Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus. Orpheus was basically Greek mythology’s greatest musician and poet. He was famously unable to guide Eurydice back from the underworld after she died prematurely. On a marginally lighter note, they were apparently reunited after his own death.

Fundamentally, this Eurydice has the mythological Eurydice’s name and Orpheus’ talent.

Now, I’m not really envisioning Eurydice [FYI, it’s pronounced in English like “you-rid-e-see”] as a tragic figure like the mythological Eurydice.

Mostly, I wanted to include an artist among the Ten Most Worthy Women as a homage to the actual Greek traditions of art, music, and theatre.

Of course, Amazons (including mine) are famously militaristic, but I also wanted this to be a teachable moment. Even the famously militaristic Spartans produced several notable poets, built several impressive temples (I’ve previously mentioned the temple of Athena Kalkioikos) and dance and music were actually a major part of the Spartan military education — it helped the boys learn to move as part of a coordinated collection of individuals (like, say, you’d need to do in battle) and helped the girls be able to participate in religious ceremonies (religion was hugely important to the Ancient Greeks and the Spartans were famous for being the most pious).


Red-figure art of the Amazon Eurydice.

As befits Realmgard’s paragon of the performing arts, Eurydice is dancing and playing a flute. I think this is the best version of her I’ve done so far, but I think her feet might be backwards.

That’s a harp and a pair of dramatic masks — specifically the Comedy and Tragedy masks. And while the two masks are pretty much the modern symbol of modern theatre, masks were actually a major component of Classical theatre, possibly because they functioned as a way to amplify the actors’ voices.

Once again, her name is in Greek (and is actually a Greek name in the first place). “Artifex Optima” means basically “Best Artist”, though I think I’ve generally used “Foremost” because it sounds cooler.

Almost to the halfway point…

Also, Fantasy Giveaway:

Promotional art for the YA Fantasy giveaway.
US Residents only.

Follow me here:

Sign-up for my email newsletter here.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License button.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s