Side A: Triton, upper half

Side B: oblique from right

Side A: oblique from right

Side A: scene at center

Side A: Triton, lower half

Side B: Nereid's foot

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Side A: Triton. Side B: Nereid.
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Berlin Painter
Date: ca. 490 BC

H. 0.307 m.; D. 0.18 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 200, 49; Beazley Addenda 2, 191.
Shape: Neck amphora
Beazley Number: 201859
Period: Late Archaic


Unbroken and in excellent condition.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Triton swims to the right, his human upper half erect and his serpentine lower body undulating behind and terminating in a forked tail similar to a dolphin's. The spotted tail is tinted with brown dilute glaze and has two pairs of fins. Triton's human half is clothed in a himation decorated with dot-rosettes and a chiton with folds drawn in dilute glaze. His long hair is tied in a krobylos secured with a wreath of added red. In his right hand he holds a scepter and in his left, a dolphin. The little finger of his right hand is stiffly extended.

Side B: A Nereid in a belted chiton runs to the left; the chiton folds are drawn with diluted glaze. She seems to be in a state of agitation, for she stretches forth both arms and her loose hair gives her a somewhat wild appearance. If she is running to relate the news of her sister Thetis' capture by Peleus — the normal task of running, agitated Nereids — then the figure on Side A might not be Triton, but rather her father Nereus, the normal recipient of this news. Although Nereus is normally represented in human form in this period, on early black-figure vases he was sometimes depicted in fish-tailed form. On a kylix by the Kleophrades Painter, London E 73 (ARV2, 192, 106), the scene of Nereus receiving the news from a Nereid is witnessed by the fish-tailed Triton. This too, then, is probably Triton, whose bizarre form the painter judged more visually interesting than that of Nereus.

The groundlines below each figure consist of a band of key pattern to right. The vase is otherwise entirely black, save for two incised lines framing the fillet above the foot.

Shape Description:

Small, with double handles (i.e. a "doubleen"). Disk foot. Flaring mouth. Not a Nolan.

Collection History:

Gift of Mr. E. P. Warren.

Sources Used:

CVA, Fogg-Gallatin.

Other Bibliography:

CVA, Fogg-Gallatin, USA 8, 33, pl. 16, 3.