• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2007

    Antiquities

    4 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 172

    AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED LEKYTHOS

    ATTRIBUTED TO THE LEAGROS GROUP, CIRCA 520-500 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED LEKYTHOS
    ATTRIBUTED TO THE LEAGROS GROUP, CIRCA 520-500 B.C.
    With Herakles about to be conducted to Mount Olympus, the hero's patron Athena to the left mounting a four-horse chariot, the goddess wearing a high-crested helmet, aegis, and peplos, Herakles standing to the right behind the four horses, wearing his lionskin, his quiver over his shoulder, holding his club in his right hand, its shaft resting on his shoulder, Hermes seated before the horses, wearing winged boots, a chlamys and petasos, holding his kerykeion in his left hand, a goddess partially preserved to the right, wearing a himation, holding a blossom, the figures identified by inscriptions; a band of key above, palmettes on the shoulders, tongues at the base of the neck, details in added red and white
    12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm.) high


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    The Leagros Group, which takes its name from a kalos name on five of its hydriae, was the last important and prolific group of large black-figured vases. According to Boardman (p. 110-111 in Athenian Black Figure Vases), "Around four hundred vases have been attributed to it of which nearly half are hydriae, nearly half neck amphorae, the rest amphorae of other shapes, craters and lekythoi, to name the commonest. ...The compositions of the figure scenes have a new vigour and complexity. Involved groups of overlapping figures are skillfully managed and are only occasionally confusing to the eye because the incision is clear and bold and the display of anatomical detail is moderate. There is restrained use too of added colour while drapery folds and patterns are, if anything, less elaborate than the Antimenean although contemporary red figure - the Pioneer Group - rejoices in folds, texture and anatomy. These artists realise what is possible still in the old technique and are able to reduce to reasonable terms several features of the new, rendering complicated folds or muscles with less explicit strokes (and notice the tiny eyes), but profiting from newly learnt skills in showing more eloquent poses..." Herakles and Trojan scenes were the most popular with the Group.

    Provenance

    with Heidi Vollmoeller, Zurich, 1970.
    Lindner Collection, Switzerland.