Amphora (jar), ca. 540–530 b.c.; black–figure
Signed by Taleides as potter, attributed to the Taleides Painter
Greek, Attic, Archaic
Terracotta; H. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1947 (47.11.5)
Obverse: Theseus slaying the Minotaur
Reverse: Men weighing merchandise
Discovered at Agrigento in Sicily before 1801, this may be the first Greek vase with a potter's signature to have been published in modern Europe. Besides the signature, there is an inscription praising a youth, Klitarchos, as handsome. After Herakles, Theseus is the major hero in Athenian iconography. He was credited with uniting the principalities of Attica and with numerous exploits. Here he kills the Minotaur (part man, part bull) in the palace of King Minos on Crete. The reverse shows a large scale with containers on each pan and a man bringing them into balance.