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Bronze hydria (water jar)

Period:
Classical
Date:
mid-5th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Argive
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. with handle 20 1/4 in. (51.41 cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1926
Accession Number:
26.50
  • Description

    Inscribed on top of the mouth "one of the prizes from Argive Hera"

    This hydria, like Greek art in all its forms, is marked by clearly defined parts organized into a harmonious well-proportioned whole. The plain body swells gently to the shoulder zone, which turns inward with a soft, cushionlike curve. The shoulder is decorated with a simple shallow tongue pattern that echoes the vertical ribbing on the foot. The neck shoots up from the shoulder to a flaring mouth from which the bust of a woman seems to emerge. The figure belongs to the vertical handle of the hydria. She wears a peplos. Her serene face is framed by carefully detailed hair. Rotelles with a rosette pattern give a semblance of outstretched hands. We know from the inscription on the mouth that this hydria was a prize awarded at games for the goddess Hera at her sanctuary in Argos in the Peloponnisos.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: On the rim, in Argive dialect and script, stating that this hydria was "one of the prizes from Argive Hera"

  • Provenance

    Said to have been found in the Peloponnese (Mertens 1985, p. 40).

    Acquired January 29, 1926, purchased from Jacob Hirsch, New York.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 135, 137, fig. 94.

    Lamb, Winifred. 1929. Greek and Roman Bronzes. London, p. 163, pl. LIX, a.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 135, 137, fig. 94.

    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. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 82, 224, pls. 64a, h.

    Zwierlein-Diehl, Erika. 1964. Die Hydria: Formgeschichte und Verwendung im Kult des Altertums. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, no. B78 .

    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.

    1985. "Greek Bronzes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 43(2): no. 23, pp. 4-5, 13, 39.

    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, Hera, no. 114.

    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. 122, pp. 112, 459.

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    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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