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Terracotta neck-amphora (storage jar)

Attributed to the New York Nettos Painter

Period:
Proto-Attic
Date:
second quarter of the 7th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta
Dimensions:
H. 42 3/4 in. (108.6 cm); diameter 22 in. (55.9 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
11.210.1
  • Description

    During the first half of the seventh century B.C., vase painters in Athens abandoned the almost abstract geometric tradition in favor of a vigorous naturalistic style inspired by art imported from the Near East. An early representation of a Greek myth is shown on the front of this monumental vase. The great hero Herakles strides to the left, sword in hand, grabbing the hair of Nessos, a centaur who had tried to abduct Herakles' wife, Deianeira. The two components of the centaur—horse and man—are not well integrated in this early representation, but the creature shows emotion, pleading for mercy with outstretched hands. Behind Herakles, a four-horse chariot and a driver wait patiently for the outcome of the battle, while a small man attracted by the excitement rushes forward. The scene is depicted with a combination of outline and silhouette enlivened by white and incised lines. A lion attacks a deer on the neck of the vase, and horses graze on the shoulder, but most of the surface is filled with floral motifs and curvilinear decorations. This vase served as a grave marker.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 49, fig. 26.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 58-59, fig. 33.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 58-59, fig. 33.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1944. Greek Painting: The Development of Pictoral Representation from Archaic to Graeco-Roman Times. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 39, 187, pl. 27b.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1972. Greek Vase Painting: An Introduction. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. Karlsruhe: Müller, no. 13, pp. 26-27.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

    Beazley, John D. 1986[1951]. The Development of Attic Black Figure, Sather Classical Lectures, Vol. 24, 2nd edn. University of California: University of California Press, pp. 6, 93, n. 19, pl. 5.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Herakles, p. 152.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Nessos, no. 36.

    1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Padgett, J. Michael. 2003. The Centaur's Smile: The Human Animal in Early Greek Art Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, p. 23, fig. 19.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 34, pp. 51, 415.

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