AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
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AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)

ATTRIBUTED TO THE SWING PAINTER, CIRCA 530-520 B.C.

Details
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
ATTRIBUTED TO THE SWING PAINTER, CIRCA 530-520 B.C.
15 ¼ in. (38.7 cm.) high
Provenance
Samuel Rogers (1763-1855), U.K., Romantic poet and art collector.
Catalogue of the Very Celebrated Collection of Works of Art the Property of Samuel Rogers; Christie's, London, 28 April 1856 and eighteen following days, lot 340.
Lord Swansea, Swansea, Wales.
Property of Lord Swansea; Anderson Galleries, New York, 28 January 1921, lot 476.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, New York, acquired from the above.
David Rockefeller, New York, gifted from the above, mid 1920s.
Literature
D. von Bothmer, "Greek Vases Lost and Found," in Studies Presented to David Moore Robinson, St. Louis, 1953, Vol. II, p. 135, no. 2.
D. von Bothmer, "Reviewed Work(s): Herakles: Die zwölf Taten des Helden in antiker Kunst und Literatur by Frank Brommer," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. LVIII, January 1954, p. 63.
J.D. Beazley, Attic Black-figure Vase-Painters, Oxford, 1956, p. 306, no. 40.
J.D. Beazley, Paralipomena, Oxford, 1971, p. 132, no. 40.
F. Brommer, Vasenlisten zur griechischen Heldensage, 3rd ed., Marburg, 1973, p. 77, no. 17.
E. Böhr, Der Schaukelmaler, Mainz, 1982, p. 85, no. 46. pl. 48.
C. Berard, ed., Images et société en Grèce ancienne: L'iconographie comme méthode d'analyse, Cahiers d'Archeologie Romande 36, Lausanne, 1987, p.122, fig. 1 (A).
T.H. Carpenter, Beazley Addenda, Oxford, 1989, p. 81.
R. Ellsworth et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Arts of Asia and Neighboring Cultures, New York, 1993, vol III, pp. 374-375, no. 280.
Beazley Archive Pottery Database no. 301520.
Special notice

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Lot Essay

The Swing Painter takes his name from the amphora in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which depicts a young maiden on a swing. As J. Boardman informs (p. 63 in Athenian Black Figure Vases, Oxford, 1974), the Swing Painter "is not a good painter, nor a conscious comedian, although his placid figures with their big heads, fashionably tiny noses, and often clenched fists, bring a smile to our lips." The Rockefeller amphora is a very fine example of the Swing Painter's work. The frontal chariot scene shown on the obverse was a favorite of the artist, which he painted multiple times (see the examples now in the Tampa Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, and two in the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan, pls. 35, 47, 56 & 57 in E. Böhr, Der Schaukelmaler, Mainz, 1982). The bearded man, possibly the hero Herakles, capturing the hind in the presence of Hermes on the reverse is unique, although on another amphora by the Swing Painter in the British Museum, Apollo is shown similarly grasping the animal's horns, but here observed by three draped men (Böhr, op. cit., pl. 47).

Mr. Rockefeller fondly recalled receiving this vase in the mid-1920s as prize awarded to him over his brothers by his mother in a competition designed to "encourage habits of orderliness in her sons."

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