Six's technique


Lekythos in Six's technique, Cabinet des Médailles, Paris (De Ridder 493)

Six's technique is the modern name for a technique used by Attic black-figure vase painters that involves laying on figures in white or red on a black surface and incising the details so that the black shows through. It was first described by the Dutch scholar Jan Six in 1888,[1] and was given its English name by J. D. Beazley.[2]

Around 530 BCE, the technique began to be used regularly for decorating the whole vase, rather than for details as in previous practice. The effect is similar to red-figure painting. Nikosthenes, Psiax, and the Diosphos Painter were among the early users of the technique. It remained in use until the mid-5th century, when it can be observed on a small number of oenochoe from the Haimon painter workshop.

See also


  1. ^ Vases polychromes sur fond noir de la period archaïque., Gazette archéologique 13, pp. 193-210 and 281-294
  2. ^ Beazley, in Greek Vases in Poland, 1928


  • Beth Cohen. The Colors of Clay, 2006.
  • C. H. Emilie Haspels, Attic Black Figure Lekythoi, 1936.
  • G. van Hoorn, Choes and Athesteria 1951.
  • Jan Six. A rare vase-technique, Journal of Hellenic Studies 30, pp. 323–6.