Main panel: head of warrior

Main panel: charioteer

Main panel: head of warrior

Main panel: shoulder of horse being led forward

Main panel: horse being led, nude man, midsections

Overview: exterior

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Harnessing of a chariot
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Antimenes Painter
Context: Said to be from Athens
Date: ca. 520 BC - ca. 510 BC

Pres. H. 0.275 m.; pres. W. 0.353 m.

Primary Citation: ABV, 274, 129; Beazley Addenda 2, 72.
Shape: Amphora
Beazley Number: 320140
Region: Attica
Period: Late Archaic


The vase has been reduced to a large fragment, consisting mainly of one figure panel and a small portion of the neck. The fragment is itself repaired from many smaller fragments. Lost in the large gap in the center, now restored in plaster, are the bodies of the horses at right and the head and upper body of the groom. The man holding the reins has lost his head and torso. The added white of the charioteer's chiton has worn off at the top but not the bottom. At both left and right, drill holes connected by shallow channels once held metal rivets and staples from an ancient repair; the repair at right had a triangular shape.

Decoration Description:

Harnessing a chariot. Judging from other vases with this subject, this should be Side A. At left, a nude man holds the reins of the two pole horses, which have already been harnessed. He leans backwards slightly to take up the slack, bracing himself with his left foot on the floor of the chariot, a long goad clutched in his right hand. The chariot box has panels of added red, and the lashings on the wheel-spokes are indicated with careful incision. The nearer horse has a red mane and red tail. Behind the rumps of the pole horses, a warrior with a red beard walks to the right but looks back at the trace horse he is leading up to be harnessed; part of his right hand holding the lead rope is preserved. The horse's mane is tinted with added red; the tail is cut off by the stripes framing the panel, suggesting a continuity of space "off stage." Oddly, the horse's bridle is shown passing over the mane instead of under it. The warrior wears red greaves and a chitoniskos with folds alternately red and black. The Corinthian helmet pushed up on top of his head has a stilted crest-holder and a crest edged with a red stripe. He wears a sword on his hip and carries a spear, which crosses the goad of the man at left. The charioteer, identified by his long white chiton, is adjusting the harnessing of the pole horses; he has a red beard and stand in profile to the right. Only the legs, forelock, and left hand are preserved of the fourth man standing at the far right, facing the horses. From similar representations, we know he is a groom, who holds and strokes the heads of the horses as they are harnessed.

The panel is framed below by a band of key-pattern to left, a favorite pattern of the artist. Below this are two red stripes that originally circled the body. At the top of the panel is a lotus and palmette chain, with fine incision on the lotuses. Added red is used for the hearts of the palmettes and the cuffs of the lotuses.

Shape Description:

Beazley listed the vase among the amphorae of type B by the Antimenes Painter, which have cylindrical handles and echinus feet. Burow (1989) follows this classification, but in fact, not enough remains to make it certain; the lotus and palmette chain above the figures is found on amphora of type A by the Antimenes Painter, but not on those of type B; cf. London B 203 (ABV, 274, 131) and Sydney 77.01 (Burow 1989, pl. 118 a & c). If the vase was of type A, it had flanged handles and a foot in two degrees.


Buitron No. 15

Collection History:

Bequest of David M. Robinson

Sources Used:

CVA, Robinson; Buitron 1972; Burow 1989.

Other Bibliography:

CVA, USA 4, pl. 30, p. 46, 2; Robinson exhibition catalogue 1961, no. 67; Buitron 1972, 38-39, no. 15; Burow 1989, p. 92, pl. 118b, no. 116.