• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2174

    Antiquities

    3 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 118

    AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED NECK-AMPHORA

    ATTRIBUTED TO THE LEAGROS GROUP, CIRCA 510-500 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED NECK-AMPHORA
    ATTRIBUTED TO THE LEAGROS GROUP, CIRCA 510-500 B.C.
    The obverse with Medea boiling the ram, centered by a large lebes on a tripod over a fire, the forepart of the ram emerging from the lebes to the right, with Medea seated on a diphros okladias to the right, looking left, wearing a chiton and himation, and Pelias seated on a diphros okladias to the left, looking right, wearing a himation, holding a staff in his left hand, his long hair and beard in added white, vines in the field; the reverse with Dionysos and two satyrs, the god seated in the center on a diphros okladias, facing right, clad in a chiton and himation, a wreath in his hair, holding a kantharos in his left hand, vines with a single cluster of grapes in his right, the satyrs both nude and facing left, that behind the god ithyphallic, his head turned back; lotus bud chain encircling below, red and black tongues above, rays above the foot, palmette lotus chain on the neck, palmettes and lotus buds below the triple-reeded handles, a dipinto (X) on the underside, details in added red
    16½ in. (41 cm.) high


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    When Jason returns to Iolkos with the Golden Fleece, he discovers that Pelias had murdered his parents and usurped the throne. Jason appeals to Medea for revenge. The sorceress approaches the daughters of Pelias with a remedy to rejuvenate their aged father. She chops up an old ram and places it in a cauldron with magical herbs, and a young ram emerges. Thus the daughters are convinced and proceed to dismember their father. However, Medea withholds her magical herbs, thereby preventing Pelias' rejuvination.

    In Attic black-figure the cauldron is often flanked by the gesticulating daughters of Pelias, as on a neck-amphora, also by the Leagros Group, in the Sackler Museum, Harvard University, no. 4 in Simon, "Peliades" in LIMC. A Leagros Group hydria in the British Museum, has the daughters together with their father (see no. 11 in Simon, "Pelias" in LIMC). A neck-amphora by the Medea Group in the British Museum has Pelias, Medea and two daughters flanking the cauldron (no. 10 in "Pelias," op. cit.). On a red-figured hydria by the Copenhagen Painter in the British Museum, the cauldron is flanked by Medea and Jason (no. 134 in Reeder, Pandora, Women in Classical Greece).

    Provenance

    with Summa Galleries, Beverly Hills, mid 1980s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE ALLEN E. PAULSON LIVING TRUST