‘Bucchero-ware’ refers to the pottery produced by central Italy’s pre-Etruscan population. The same practice of pottery was then adopted by the Etruscans – the lustrous black surface was achieved by diligent polishing, rather than by means of a gloss.
Southern Italy was populated by a large number of Greek colonies from the 8th century BC onwards – so much so that the Romans referred to the area as Magna Graecia – ‘Great Greece’. These Greek colonies were instrumental in bringing Greek culture and thought to Italy, greatly influencing Roman literature, philosophy, and material culture in turn. Greek pottery from Southern Italy is most characteristically defined by the glossy black finish, as seen on this cup.
To discover more about Ancient Greek pottery, please visit our relevant blog post: Collecting Ancient Greek Vases.