Humfry Payne was considered one of the most outstanding archeologists of his generation. He was the Director of the British School of Archeology in Athens from 1929 until his tragic death in 1936 from a staph infection. He was the author of several important works including: Necrocorinthia: a Study of Corinthian Art in the Archaic Period, 1931; Archaic Marble Sculpture from the Acropolis, 1936; and Perachora: the Sanctuaries of Hera Akraia and Limenia, 1940. He married the eminent film critic Elizabeth Dilys Powell, C.B.E. in 1926, whom he met while at Oxford. Powell later married Leonard Russell in 1943.
The Painter of Vatican 73, who takes his name from an olpe in the Vatican Museums, is one of the finest Corinthian vase-painters. He was first identified by Payne. According to Amyx (op. cit., p. 66) his work displays a "fine, strongly disciplined style." Neeft informs (op. cit., p. 1), his figure drawing shows a subtle balance "between animals and filling ornaments, between silhouette and details, between black and added red."