Greek art, a plate with fish

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sea creatures on a plate

sea creatures on a plate

Title and date Fish plate
325 – 300 b.C.
Author unknown
Technique Red-figure painting on a black background
Theme Marine creatures

Between the end of the VI and the IV century, red-figure style on a black background developed.
A layer of black painting used to be applied on the surface of the vase leaving out the figures which, in this way, kept their original red clay colour. Then, the details were drawn in black with a thin brush.

On this plate the red-figure fish decorations are geometrically regular and balanced; the fish shapes are finely drawn and the outlines well-defined. The details are depicted both in black and in white colour, which gives the portrayed figures more brightness. As a result, the painging turns out to be plastic and natural.
Fish and shellfish were often represented on Greek plates, which means that seafood was generally eaten by the Greeks. Not only did they already know squids, prawns, octopuses, eels and tunas, but also shellfish like mussels, oysters, lobsters and the unknown to us “chichiballi”.
Fish was cooked in a lot of different ways: grilled, browned, stewed; moreover, the ancient authors mentioned the Greek custom of wrapping fish in fig leaves and grilling them, even if fish was also eaten raw.

Main dish Bass in soup Difficulty: medium

4 servings
Fresh sea basses n° 2 gr 500
squids gr300
cuttlefish gr 200
Mantis Shrimps or Squill Fish gr 100
Extra virgin olive oil gr 50
Sliced onion 1
Garlic cloves 4
Bay leaves 2
Chopped parsley To taste
celery gr 100
Toast bread croutons To taste
Chili pepper To taste

– Clean and scale the basses.
– Clean the cuttlefish and the squids leaving them in big pieces.
– Cut the final and side parts of the Squill fish.
– Slice the celery.
– In a casserole pour the oil and sautée the celery, onion, garlic and bay.
– Add cuttlefish and squids, adjust salt and chili pepper.
– Sweat everything and add the squill fish.
– After a few minutes thin with water or fish broth, thicken again and add the sea basses.
– Cover and cook at low heat for other 8 minutes.
Serve in a china platter with bread croutons and a sprinkle of parsley.

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