AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
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AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
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AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA

ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF VATICAN 424, CIRCA 510-500 B.C.

Details
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF VATICAN 424, CIRCA 510-500 B.C.
20 1⁄8 in. (51.1 cm.) high
Provenance
with André Emmerich, New York.
The Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum of Art, Utica, New York, acquired from the above, 1966 (Inv. no. 66.8).
Property from The Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum of Art; Antiquities, Christie's, New York, 10 June 1994, lot 127.
Dr. Manfred Zimmermann (1935-2011), Bremen, Germany, acquired from the above; thence by descent to the current owner.
Literature
J.D. Beazley, Paralipomena, Oxford, 1971, p. 164, no. 9bis.
F. Brommer, Vasenlisten zur griechischen Heldensage, Marburg, 1973, p. 42, no. 13.
D. von Bothmer, "The Struggle for the Tripod," in V. Höckmann and A. Krug, eds., Festschrift für Frank Brommer, Mainz, 1977, p. 57, no. 115.
F. Brommer, Herakles II: Die unkanonischen Taten des Helden, Darmstadt, 1984, p. 9, n. 65.
J. Boardman, "Herakles," Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, vol. V, pt. 1, 1994, p. 138, no. 3038.
M. Steinhart, Töpferkunst und Meisterzeichnung: Attische Wein- und Ölgefässe aus der Sammlung Zimmermann, Mainz, 1996, pp. 73-76, no. 14, pl. 8.
F. Hildebrandt, Antike Bilderwelten: Was griechische Vasen erzählen, Darmstadt, 2017, pp. 72, 130, figs. 70, 129; p. 145, no. 23.
Beazley Archive Pottery Database nos. 20318 and 351197.
Digital LIMC Database no. 22669.
Exhibited
Utica, New York, The Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum of Art, The Olympics in Art: An Exhibition of Works of Art Related to Olympic Sport, 13 January -2 March 1980.
Bremen, Antikenmuseum im Schnoor, 2005-2018.
Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, 2018-2023.

Brought to you by

Hannah Fox Solomon
Hannah Fox Solomon Head of Department, Specialist

Lot Essay

This important hydria depicts a key moment in Greek mythology: the struggle between the half-siblings Herakles and Apollo for the Delphic tripod. Furious that the priestess at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi would not provide Herakles with a prophesy, the hero attempted to steal the sacred tripod, which endowed the site with its oracular powers. Apollo then began to wrestle Herakles for control of the tripod until Zeus intervened to halt the fighting. The struggle was a favorite subject for Greek vase painters beginning in the mid 6th century. According to H.A. Coccagna (p. 222 in S. Albersmeier, ed., Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece), the theme can also be viewed as a metaphor for political disagreements.

The central panel shows Herakles, clad in his lionskin, moving to the right but looking back, with one hand on the tripod and the other raised with his club. To the right in support of the hero is Athena, wearing a high-crested helmet and wielding a circular shield, with a bull or cow at her feet. Apollo is shown wearing a belted chiton and with a quiver at his back, with both hands on the tripod. To the left in support of the god are Hermes, identifiable by his winged boots, petasos and kerykeion, and Artemis beside him. The scene is framed by ivy on the sides and palmettes below. The shoulders feature two racing quadrigae, which perhaps evoke the the Pythian Games held at Delphi, with a band of tongues above.

J.D. Beazley (p. 359 in Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters) placed the Group of Vatican 424 within his larger Leagros Group and considered the work as related to the Edinburgh Painter, who himself takes rise within the Leagros Group.

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