The red figure vases produced by the Greek colonists in South Italy and Sicily in the later fifth and the fourth centuries BC were at first closely modeled on Athenian prototypes. But they quickly evolved, exhibiting the highly individual styles and characteristics that are explored in this fascinating study. The red figure vases of the period, while immensely pleasing as works of art, are also of great interest and importance for the light they shed on mythology and drama, local customs and the relations between the Greek settlers and the native inhabitants. Some of the latter, especially in Apulia, seem to have acquired considerable wealth and were able to indulge their taste for very large vases, elaborately decorated with exuberant floral pattern-work and multi-figured compositions. Close to 600 illustrations reproduce a wide selection of the more significant vases, and demonstrate not only their considerable artistry, but also the endless fascination of their subject matter.