Side A: Athena's shield

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Summary: Side A: Athena and Poseidon. Side B: Warriors setting out. Under each handle, Dionysos.
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Amasis Painter
Potter: Signed by Amasis
Context: Said to be from Orvieto
Date: ca. 530 BC - ca. 520 BC

H 0.258 m D 0.203 m

Primary Citation: ABV, 152.26; Para, 63; Beazley Addenda 1, 19; Beazley Addenda 2, 44
Shape: Neck amphora
Beazley Number: 310453
Region: Etruria
Period: Archaic


Broken and repaired, many fragments missing, some repainting.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Poseidon (?) and Athena stand facing each other. Poseidon stands on the left of the composition; only his head and feet are extant. He wears a chiton and himation or mantle, and has a red fillet in his hair. From what is left of his upper arm, it would appear that his left hand was raised in greeting. Athena stands opposite him, holding her shield and spear. She wears a red checked peplos; her head is missing, but her feet are painted white. Her shield device is a gorgoneion (red eyes and tongue and white teeth) and six incised snakes. An inscription runs vertically between Poseidon and Athena [*A*M]*A*S*I*S [*M]*E*P*O*I*E*S*E*N ("Amasis made me").

Side B: Two warriors are depicted setting out. Both are bearded and wear short chitons, leather corselets with shoulder flaps (the left warrior's right shoulder flap is decorated with the head of a panther, the right warrior's left shoulder flap has a scale pattern), greaves, and high-crested Corinthian helmets (the one on the right is a double crest). The left warrior's greaves are painted red, and also the dots on the body of his chiton, details of his corselet, the scalloped band of his right shoulder flap, the support of his helmet crest and a panel of his scabbard. The dots at the hem of his chiton, his sword hilt, end of the scabbard, and dots on the baldric are painted white. He moves to the left and turns to look back. He carries a spear and sheathed sword, holding the latter horizontally by the middle with the baldric hanging down. The right warrior carries a spear and a shield of Boeotian type (the shield device is incised: two butting rams). The shield rim is decorated with small incised circles alternating with crosses having dotted interstices; the elliptical cutouts are ornamented with a tongue pattern. His greaves, alternate pleats of his chiton, and alternate tongues bordering the elliptical cutouts of his shield are painted red; the dots on the hem of his chiton and on the rim of his shield, and the end of his scabbard are painted white. Running vertically between the figures is an inscription *A*M*A*S*I*S *M*E*P*O*I*E*S*E*N ("Amasis made me")

Under each handle is an image of Dionysos. The god wears an ivy wreath, long red dotted chiton, and chlamys with panels of red. He strides to the left, and turns his head to look back. On Side A/B, he carries a grapevine with large fruit in his right hand and a spray of ivy in his left. On Side B/A, his left arm is missing.

On the neck of the vessel is a double palmette-lotus chain (pairs of double volute scrolls are set on edge to replace the links), flanked by three horizontal lines above and two below. On the shoulder, a chain of three-petalled palmettes is framed by double lines; this is interrupted under the handles by a swan with raised wings walking to the left (Side A/B) and right (Side B/A). At the root of the handles is a row of pendant filled triangles framed by a reserved band above and two lines below. Above the foot are staggered rays and a key pattern framed by triple lines above and below.


Side A, between the two figures: [*A*M]*A*S*I*S [*M]*E*P*O*I*E*S*E*N ("Amasis made me"). Side B, between the two figures: *A*M*A*S*I*S *M*E*P*O*I*E*S*E*N, ("Amasis made me").

Collection History:

Ex coll. A. Bourguignon, acquired with amphora Boston 01.8027; both vases said to be from Orvieto. H.L. Pierce Fund, 1901.

Sources Used:

CVA, Boston 1, USA 14, pls. 26, 28.1,2; LIMC, I, pl. 114, Achilleus 559; Beazley 1951, 56; von Bothmer 1985, 130-131, n. 24; Mommsen 1975, 16, 30, 33, fn. 179, 47, fn. 239; Schefold 1978, fig. 310

Other Bibliography:

D. von Bothmer "New Vases by the Amasis Painter" AK 3(1960) 76, 80; D. Callipolitis-Feytmans Les plats attiques à figures noires (Paris, 1974), 48,f n. 52, 104, fn. 45; Chase 1950, 46, fig. 54; H. Hoffmann Antidoron: Festschrift für Jürgen Thimme zum 65 Geburtstag am 26 September 1982 (Karlsruhe 1984), 65; H. Hoffmann Collecting Greek Antiquities (New York 1971) 111, fig. 89; Hoppin 1924, 28; J. Hurwit "Image and Frame in Greek Art" AJA 81 (1977) 16, fn. 75; Karouzou 1956, 20, fn. 24, pls. 35.3, 36-37; Korres 1970, pl. 85a; B. Legakis "A Lekythos signed by Amasis" AK 26 (1983) 73, fn. 6, 74, fn. 7; Moon 1983, 91, fig. 6.6; Muscarella 1974, under 56; K. Schauenburg "Neue Amphoren des Amasismalers" JdI 79(1964) 113, fn. 19 and 118, fn. 45; W. Whitehill Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: A Centennial History (Cambridge, Mass., 1970) vol. 1, 164<