(-570 - -500). The Amasis Painter was an ancient Greek vase painter who worked in the black-figure technique. He owes his name to the signature of the potter Amasis, who signed 12 works painted by the same hand. At the time of the exhibition, The Amasis Painter and His World, 132 vases had been attributed to this artist. As with any of the artisans working during the sixth century BC, very little is understood about the Amasis Painter's life or personality. Scholars do know that Amasis is a Greek version of an Egyptian name, more specifically of a contemporary Egyptian king, leading some to believe that the Amasis Painter, or at least the potter Amasis, may have been a foreigner, originally from Egypt. Other possibilities include that he was an Athenian with an Egyptian name, which is highly plausible, given close trade relations between Greece and Egypt, or that his signed name was a nickname given to him by his contemporaries due to some Egyptian characteristic, an example being the alabastron shape. Exekias's use of the label Amasos for an illustration of an Ethiopian has no clear explanation, but he is generally thought to have been poking fun at Amasis as a contemporary professional rival. Despite the possibility of his Egyptian origin, it is generally agreed by scholars that the Amasis Painter learned his trade in Athens, most likely with the Heidelberg Painter. This painter worked around 575-550 BC, and is best known for his work on Siana cups. The Amasis Painter borrows scenes from the Heidelberg Painter, such as a warrior dressing himself in greaves with multiple bystanders; however, the Amasis Painter adds his own touch in the treatment of his figures, imparting a greater sense of detail, and often adding a signature double-band border and palmette-lotus festoon to the ornamental decoration. In other examples, the Amasis Painter's use of fringed garments also emphasizes a possible close relationship between the two. The career of the Amasis Painter was long, spanning nearly 50 years from around 560 to 515 BC, and encompassed the transition from the early to mature phases in Attic black-figure vase painting. The Amasis Painter was singular in his reaction to the rapid changes happening around him. His style, while generally conservative, evolved with certain developments in the medium. However, the Amasis Painter also rejected certain trends and managed to maintain a consistency that can be traced throughout, making it difficult to date works within his lifetime. His development over the course of his career, which is loosely classified into early, middle and late phases, demonstrates the artist's journey from novice to master. As R. M. Cook explains, His early work is conventional and tame, but as he matures he displays a more individual assurance. There are 11 black figure vases and one fragment that are painted by the same hand and bear a signature that reads, Amasis mepoiesen meaning Amasis made me, indicating the artist Amasis as the potter of these works. As all 12 works were decorated by a single painter, some scholars have assumed that the potter and painter were one and the same. However, since the 1971 attribution of a signed work by Amasis to the hand of the Taleides Painter, connoisseurs are reminded to distinguish between the potter Amasis and the Amasis Painter with care. The painter's 12 signed pieces include three broad-shouldered neck-amphorae, four olpai, one band cup, one cup, one small bowl, a pyxis and a vessel fragment. For scholars who believe that the potter and painter were identical, the petite and refined shapes of the Amasis vessels reinforce the argument for Amasis' innovative contributions to sixth-century Athenian vases. As Boardman writes, The potting of the Amasis Painter's vases is as distinctive as the painting. The concurrence of the two phenomena might well suggest that potter and painter were one man, particularly as the distinctive elements in each craft seem to share a common spirit. Whether the painter was indeed the potter or not, the Amasis Painter decorated a wide variety of shapes, including panel and neck amphorae, used for wine or oil storage; oinochoai, wine pouring jugs; lethythoi, oil jars; alabastra and aryballoi, for oils or perfumes; and a variety of drinking cups, including mastoids, skyphoi, and kylikes. Of these shapes, the Amasis Painter seems to have preferred smaller, user-friendly forms, from 30 to 35 centimeters high, and reduced dimensions of painting space, for example, in panels. The Amasis Painter tackled nearly every subject available to the sixth-century vase painter; of 165 scenes, 20 are narrative mythological subjects.