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Greek painted pottery is an important archaeological find because it helps in the reconstruction of the everyday life, trade, social relations, religion, and historic events of the period. There are many styles of painted pottery, which sprung from a combination of technical skill and the desire to experiment.
One of the most important among these styles is the red-figure style, which made its way into the world of Greek Classical Antiquity as early as the 6th century BCE. It is assumed that it developed in the workshop of Andokides the Greek in the potters' quarter in Athens around 525 BCE. The fundamental feature of the style is a black background with the figures themselves retaining the colour of ceramic (hence the term red-figure).
The National Museum's collection features a rhyton – a single-handled vessel – in the red-figure style. This rhyton is in the shape of a satyr lying on a wineskin, his bald head poking out of a panther skin. On his back is a cup depicting a bearded Hercules carrying a three-legged stool running away from Apollo while being approached by Zeus's messenger Hermes.