Vulci Amphora (Ancient Greece, 530 -510 BC)

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Antimene's Painter is the conventional name assigned to an Attic ceramographer active in Athens between 530 and 510 BC.
It's one of the major black figures ceramographers of the last quarter of VI c. BC with more than 140 wellknown pots, mainly anphorae with separated neck and hydriae.
The name derives from that of the young artist mentioned in the kalos inscription on the hydria kept in Leydon near the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, one of his best artworks and probably the most ancient among those passed on to us.

 Description of the artwork.

Among the numerous anphorae with separate neck of Antimene's Painter, the British Museum anphora relates a domestic scene with the olive harvest; it's an original and unique picture once again showing this ceramographer's interest for landscapes. On the other side of the vase is a scene of the meeting between Herakles and Pholon centaur.
Ceramic is the most useful category for the reconstruction of the ancient Greek painting. Unfortunately the painters achieving these vases were not the ones realižing wall frescoes.
The quality of certain vases is somehow so high that you are brought to think there's a direct relation and that the most famous ceramographers have been inspired by the great painting to meet the customers' needs.
For almost a thousand years, the painting on ceramics has used the alternance of red color with black. The reason of this choice depends on the the process by which was obtained coloring, not based on applying colored pigment but on chemical reactions of oxidation and clay reduction (containing, as you know, iron oxides).
Until V c. BC, Greek vases were made with the black figures technique: the  ceramist molded the vase before baking it in a very oxidizing atmosphere. The metal particles contained in the clay "rusted", giving birth to a vase with a brilliant red color.
Was then applied a second layer of fresh clay in correspondence only to the figure part. The vase was now once more heated in the oven in a strongly reducing atmosphere, limiting to the least the quantity of ciculating air.
The clay got carbonized giving rise to black figures on red background which could then be ciselled with a small sharp tool so as to accomplish details.

Most common ingredients:

  • oil
  • figs
  • grapes
  • wheat and other cereals
  • pulses
  • honey
  • vinegar
  • cheese
  • lamb
  • fish

The recipe

Squid ink guitar spaghetti with wild asparagi on chickpea and saffron cream 
Artistic choice :the Greek vase has a visual impact which inspired our dish for its chromaticity and geometry.  The squid ink spaghetti represent in color and shape the branches and plants, the shape of the amphofora is recreated in the dish arrangement of the spaghetti with an upward tilt like the art object itself.  Metaphorically, the vase background is recalled with an orange sauce.
Historic gastronomic choice :The Romans' use  of legumes and wild herbs, mixed with other ingredients in one dish, inspired the choice of certain foodstuffs .

Ingredients and procedure Serves 4

Wheat flour 150 gr , durum wheat flour 150 gr , 3 eggs , onion 70 gr,  celery 50 gr fresh unclean squid 600 gr, wild asparagi 300 gr,  boiled chickpeas 300 gr, cream ,1dL, saffron, salt and pepper, fish stock, white wine, extra virgin olive oil .

Clean the squid and remove its black ink. Mix the flour with the eggs and the squid ink, roll out the dough to form the spaghetti. Brown the onion and add the squid into cubes , sprinkle with white wine and cook with the fish stock . Then add the blanched asparagi and season with salt and pepper. To prepare the chickpea cream, fry the chopped onion and celery, add the chickpeas and the saffron  revived in warm water. Add the cream and blend. Season with salt and pepper. Finally cook the pasta in the sepia sauce adding the fish stock and arrange the dish.

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