Overview: lugs to front and back

Lower frieze: giant behind Herakles' victim

Lower frieze: giant left of Herakles

Lower frieze: giant behind Athena's victim

Overview: lugs to back and front

Upper frieze: running maenad

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Dionysos with satyr and maenad; woolworking; Gigantomachy.
Ware: Attic Black Figure, White Ground
Painter: Attributed to the circle of the Haimon Painter
Date: ca. 480 BC

H. 0.149 m.; D. mouth 0.04 m.

Shape: Alabastron
Period: Late Archaic


Unbroken; black glaze fired red in places.

Decoration Description:

The neck, base and underside of the lip are black. White ground is confined to the two figure friezes. There is a broad band of checker-board pattern above the upper figure frieze. Circling the middle of the body, between the two figure friezes, is a band of enclosed black palmettes facing right. The lower body is black save for a single reserved stripe. Upper frieze: Dionysos stands to the right wearing a chiton, himation, and wreath and holding a kantharos in his left hand. Before him, on the ground, is a folding stool (diphros okladias), and beyond that a maenad, who runs to the right while looking back at the god; she wears a chiton and Ionian himation and carries a thyrsos. Behind Dionysos, at left, is a capering satyr, kneeling low in the Knielauf position. Between the maenad and the satyr is a scene of two women, apparently unrelated to the Dionysiac subject. The woman at left is seated on a folding stool and holds a distaff. The second woman stands facing her, spinning wool from the basket (kalathos) at her feet. Grapevines seem to grow from both the spinning woman and Dionysos, but despite the latter's presence, the vines are more decorative than symbolic, appearing throughout the background of the lower frieze as well. Lower frieze: Battle of the gods and the giants. Herakles and Athena fight five giants, four of whom are represented as hoplites, with helmets, round shields, and spears, and one as a lightly armed peltast, with a pelta and what appears to be a simple cap. Herakles, his lionskin draped over his left arm, pummels a falling giant with his club; his victim's helmet has a stilted crest-holder and he seems to wear a cuirass. To the right, a second hoplite-giant, this one with a low helmet-crest, twists around to try to spear Athena. The goddess is dispatching a giant with a stilted helmet-crest, who falls to one knee, supporting himself with his shield as he tries to draw his sword. Beyond him, at right, the peltast-giant runs to the right but looks back toward Athena. Further right is the fifth giant, with a low helmet-crest and a cloak over his shoulders, who attacks Herakles from behind.

Shape Description:

Two lugs in upper figure zone; rounded base.

Collection History:

Gift of the Misses Norton.

Sources Used:

Sackler Museum files.