Terracotta hydria: kalpis (water jar)

Attributed to the Nausicaä Painter

Period: Classical

Date: ca. 460–450 B.C.

Culture: Greek, Attic

Medium: Terracotta; red-figure

Dimensions: H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
diameter without handles 11 5/16 in. (28.7 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1925

Accession Number: 25.28


Herakles was one of the twins conceived on a night when Alkmene, wife of Amphitryon, was visited by both her husband and the god Zeus. Angered by his infidelity, Zeus' wife Hera attempted to kill the infant Herakles by sending two snakes to his cradle where he slept. On this red-figure hydria, the young hero strangles them in the presence of his parents, his twin brother Iphikles, and Athena, his protective goddess.