Terracotta amphora (jar)

Signed by Taleides as potter

Attributed to the Taleides Painter

Period: Archaic

Date: ca. 540–530 B.C.

Culture: Greek, Attic

Medium: Terracotta; black-figure

Dimensions: H. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1947

Accession Number: 47.11.5


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.