AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
3 More
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
6 More
PROPERTY FROM A SWISS PRIVATE COLLECTION
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)

ATTRIBUTED TO GROUP E, CIRCA 540 B.C.

Details
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
ATTRIBUTED TO GROUP E, CIRCA 540 B.C.
16 in. (40.5 cm.) high
Provenance
Swiss private collection, acquired prior to 1942; thence by descent.
Literature
M. Huggler, et al., Griechische und Römische Kunst, Bern, 1942, p. 24, no. 156.
H. Blösch, Antike Kunst in der Schweiz, Zürich, 1943, pp. 42-45 and 161-163, no. 7, pls 14-17.
R. Herbig, Ganymed: Heidelberger Beiträge zur antiken Kunstgeschichte, Heidelberg, 1949, p. 38, fig. 16.
B. Neutsch, 'Exekias. Ein Meister der griechischen Vasenmalerei' in Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft, 15, 1949-1950, p. 51 and 56, fig 19.
P.A. Clement, 'Geryon and Others in Los Angeles', Hesperia, 24, 1955, p. 4, no. b.
J. D. Beazley, Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters, Oxford, 1956, p. 133, no. 5.
A. Johnston, Trademarks on Greek Vases, Guildford, 1979, p. 84, Type 25A, no. 2.
C. Reusser & M. Bürge (eds.), Exekias hat mich gemalt und getöpfert: Ausstellung in der Archäologischen Sammlung der Universität Zürich, 9.11.2018-31.3.2019, Zürich, 2018, pp.140-144, figs 84-89.
C. Reusser & M. Bürge (eds.), Exekias und seine Welt: Tagung an der Universität Zürich, .–2 March 2019, Züricher Archäologische Forschungen 8, Zürich, 2022, pl. 45.
Beazley Archive Pottery Database, no. 301039.
Exhibited
Bern, Kunsthalle, Griechische und römische Kunst, 12 June – 30 August 1942.
Zürich, Archäologische Sammlung der Universität Zürich, 9 November 2018 – 31 March 2019 (Zurich University collection, inv. L 1611).

Brought to you by

Claudio Corsi
Claudio Corsi Specialist, Head of Department

Lot Essay

Group E is the name Beazley gave "to a large and compact group, which is very closely related to the work of the painter Exekias," and is "the soil from which the art of Exekias springs." (See p. 133 in J.D. Beazley, Attic Black-figure Vase-painters). The vases of this group are typically large-scale amphorae and primarily depict important events from the lives of gods and heroes.

On one side of the amphora presented here is a depiction of Herakles’ Tenth Labour in which Eurystheus, King of Mycenae, sends the hero on a journey to the edge of the world to capture the cattle of the tripled-headed, tripled-bodied monster Geryon. After traveling far west, the hero crossed Okeanos in the goblet of Helios and eventually arrived on the island of Erytheia, where Geryon dwelled with his cattle, guarded by the herdsman Eurytion and the two-headed dog Orthros. Herakles dispatched the dog with a blow from his club, and then did the same to the herdsman. The commotion roused Geryon into action. Here we see the monster, fully armed with a spear, crested helmets, greaves and circular shields, one with the head of a Ketos in added white as the shield blazon. Herakles approaches from the left with a sword in his raised right hand. He wears a short chiton and the Nemean lionskin over his head, the paws tied around his neck, the pelt secured by a belt at his waist. Eurytion collapses before him, with blood issuing from his wounds. There is a pseudo inscription in the field above him. The panel is framed above by a lotus bud and palmette chain.

The fight between Herakles and Geryon was a popular subject on Greek vases, making its first appearance on a Protocorinthian pyxis from the 7th century B.C. It was a favorite theme for Attic vase-painters working in the black-figure technique during the mid to late 6th century B.C., where its occurrence is recorded on more than 70 vases (see pp. 126-127 in T.H. Carpenter, Art and Myth in Ancient Greece).

On the other side, Dionysos stands in between four nude satyrs. The god wears a long white chiton, a black and red himation, and a crown of ivy. In his left hand he holds a rhyton, and in his right, an ivy branch. The panel is framed above by a palmette chain, there are rays above the foot, and graffiti under the foot.

More from Antiquities

View All
View All