If you believe Hollywood, then you might be taken into the myth that Ancient Greece was a happy-go-lucky place with philosophy and democracy dripping from the trees instead of a constantly warring set of city-states. But when they weren't kicking the crap out of each other, or patting themselves on the back for having naked Olympics and not allowing women any citizenship, they made some freaking amazing art.
Let's use the example of pottery. Different jugs and jars had different uses. Some for wine, some oil, water, you get the idea. They were often illustrated accordingly. A water jug for instance was the domain of women's work back in ye olde ancient Greece, so it might sport the picture of a story of women's interest, such as 'The Judgement of Paris'.
As with any old story, there are different versions. Most boil down to Hera, Athena, Aphrodite get into a tiff over a golden apple, leaving them no other option but to have a beauty contest. Zeus, not being a complete idiot, dodges the problem and dumps the judgement duties on Paris, a prince of Troy. Of course, being goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite weren't going to leave something as important as a beauty contest to chance, so each attempts to bribe the judge. Hera offers to make Paris king of Europe and Asia, Athena offers wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite offers Paris the most beautiful women in the world.
So I guess Paris, being an intelligent, thinking, human being, went-
Paris: So. King of Europe and Asia doesn't sound too bad. And wisdom and skill in war would probably come in handy because let's face it, we are at war, like, every 5 minutes.... hmmmm.
YOLO! Aphodite wins an apple!
Whatever the scene though, these pots definitely have their own cultural style. People more clever at this type of thing can even tell you which studio/artist to credit on some of these. Pretty cool. And if you're the sort of person who likes to draw historic horses and a challenge, try scribbling out a scene for yourself. You're welcome to practice with this example, an illustration of the departure of Achilles.
Just click the picture to download and save or print it out. Happy drawing! Cheers!
More historic horses at how to draw horses.
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