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

Details
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED AMPHORA (TYPE B)
ATTRIBUTED TO THE SWING PAINTER, CIRCA 530 B.C.
15 3⁄8 in. (39 cm.) high
Provenance
with Holger Termer, Hamburg, 1978 (Kunst der Antike, vol. 1, no. 27).
Dr. Manfred Zimmermann (1935-2011), Bremen, Germany, acquired by 1986; thence by descent to the current owner.
Literature
W. Hornbostel, Aus der Glanzzeit Athens: Meisterwerke griechischer Vasenkunst in Privatbesitz, Hamburg, 1986, p. 54-55, no. 17.
H.A. Shapiro, Art and Cult under the Tyrants in Athens, Mainz, 1989, p.38, pl. 19a.
M. Steinhart, Töpferkunst und Meisterzeichnung: Attische Wein- und Ölgefässe aus der Sammlung Zimmermann, Mainz, 1996, pp. 33-37, pl. 3.
E. Grabow, "Antike Bildergeschichten in Bremen: Einblick in Alltag und Glaubensvorstellungen der griechischen Antike gewährt die Sammlung Zimmermann in Bremens Kulturmeile," Antike Welt, vol. 40, no. 2, 2009, p. 83, fig. 7.
M. Philipp, et al., Dionysos: Rausch und Ektase, Munich, 2013, p. 138, no. 39.
F. Hildebrandt, Antike Bilderwelten: Was griechische Vasen erzählen, Darmstadt, 2017, pp. 51, 58, figs. 45, 55; p. 143, no. 2.
Beazley Archive Pottery Database no. 10081.
Exhibited
Hamburg, BATIG Foyer Esplanade; Kiel, Landesbank Schleswig-Holstein Girozentrale; Bremen, Übersee-Museum, Aus der Glanzzeit Athens: Meisterwerke griechischer Vasenkunst in Privatbesitz, 29 May 1986-18 January 1987.
Bremen, Antikenmuseum im Schnoor, 2005-2018.
Hamburg, Bucerius Kunst Forum, Dionysos: Rausch und Ektase, 6 February-10 June 2014.
Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, 2018-2023.

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Hannah Fox Solomon
Hannah Fox Solomon Head of Department, Specialist

Lot Essay

The Swing Painter takes his name from an amphora in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which depicts a young maiden on a swing. He has an extensive body of work in a variety of shapes and frequently depicts mythological subjects as he has done here.

This amphora is a very fine example of the Swing Painter's work. On the obverse is a Gigantomachy, specifically the battle between Athena and the giant Enkelados. According to popular legend, in their battle for control of the cosmos, Athena threw the island of Sicily or Etna at Onkelados, the strongest of the Giants. Here, the Swing painter depicts the goddess stepping forward to attack her opponent, with her now-missing weapon once in her raised hand. In the other, she holds a circular shield, with a tripod as the central blazon in added white. She dons her characteristic peplos, scaly aegis and high-crested Corinthian helmet. Onkelados, partially blocked by the goddess' shield, has fallen to his knees and leans on his shield behind. They are flanked by a giant on the left, wearing a Corinthian helmet, a scabbard across his chest, and holding a circular shield with a projecting snake. To the right, a Greek warrior, possibly Ares, is about to draw his sword from his sheath. For a similar panel depicting Athena and the giants by the Swing Painter, see no. 112 in the Pomerance Collection of Ancient Art.

On the reverse is Dionysos and Ariadne with a komast. Here the Swing Painter depicts the story of the god of revelry and his chosen bride Ariadne, after she was abandoned by Theseus, and their celebrated status at symposia. Dionysos wears a long chiton adorned with dotted rosettes and a himation, holding a rhyton and vines. Ariadne holds a patterned himation over her head, which she opens to welcome in her husband. To the left, the komast—symbol of wine-soaked merriment— approaches, with a cloth over his left arm and holding a drinking cup to his mouth and an empty oinochoe behind him. For a similar scene by the Swing Painter with Dionysos, Ariadne and Silenus, see the amphora in the Allard Pierson Museum, no. 68, pl. 69A, p. 88 in E. Böhr, Der Schaukelmaler.

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