Marking a significant departure from earlier black- and red-figure works, vessels such as these were painted in vibrant colors after they were fired—a painting style associated with the Silician towns of Centuripe and Morgantina. Though influenced by earlier Greek artistic traditions, Centuripe wares were an autonomous development that emerged in the fourth and third centuries BCE. A white base layer was first applied to the vessel, over which additional pigments were added.
This piece, displaying a bust of a young woman, features the reddish-pink background typical of Centuripe pottery, as well as a sensitive handling of the woman’s features. Such works depicted more naturalistic images through the use of multiple colors and shading. Found almost exclusively in graves, the delicate painting of these ceramics rendered them too fragile for everyday use.