Nikosthenes (Biographical details)

Nikosthenes (painter/draughtsman; ceramicist/glass worker/potter; Greek; 550BC - 510BC; fl.)

Also known as



Nikosthenes signed 'epoiesen' (made it) on numerous vases decorated by several different vase-painters both those working in black-figure (for instance the BMN Painter [q.v.] and Lydos [q.v.]) and those working in red-figure (for instance, Epiktetos [q.v.], Oltos [q.v.] and the Nikosthenes Painter [q.v.]). He was extremely inventive and created an impressive range of original shapes, especially of cups. He also produced an amphora (called in modern times 'Nikosthenic'). It was an imitation of a shape native to Etruria. In Etruria this shape of amphora was either entirely painted black or decorated with stamped reliefs. Nikosthenes' version, made in Athens, was decorated with black-figure painting and clearly (and successfully) intended for export. Nikosthenes' flair for business was also revealed in other foreign shapes he imitated.


Beazley ABV 216, ARV² 122-123; Boardman ABFH 11-12, 64-65; Tosto, V 'The Black-Figured Pottery signed Nikosthenesepoiesen' (Amsterdam 1999).