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Attributed to the Syriskos Painter (artist)

Greek (from Attica)
active 480–460 B.C.E.


Syriskos worked as a vase painter and potter in Athens, Greece, in the 470s and 460s BCE. Syriskos’s art provides insight into the social status of potters in Athens. Changes in the way he signed his works are clues to his change in status within Athenian society. The name Syriskos means “little Syrian” and indicates that he was most likely an enslaved person. Many potters and painters during this time were enslaved. His early works were signed with the name Syriskos. His later works were signed Pistoxenos Syriskos, which means “trustworthy stranger, the little Syrian,” and then just Pistoxenos. The name change may indicate that he was freed from enslavement.

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