Side A: assembly of gods

Side B: Poseidon, from the waist up

Side A: enthroned Zeus

Side B: Zeus, from the chest down

Side A: Hermes, from the waist up

Side A: oblique from left

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Side A: Assembly of gods. Side B: assembly of gods, and others.
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Painter: Attributed to The Affecter
Date: ca. 550 BC - ca. 530 BC

H. 0.375 m.; D. 0.252 m.

Primary Citation: ABV, 245, 64; Beazley Addenda 2, 63.
Shape: Amphora
Period: Archaic


Broken and repaired, with several missing pieces and wide cracks restored; only minimal re-painting. On side A, damage to the face of Poseidon, Zeus' right arm, upper legs, lower body, and throne, and Hermes' right leg and foot. On side B, damage to the chest of the youth at left.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Zeus is seated to right on an elaborate throne, with animal paw feet and carved supports in the forms of a sphinx and a hare. Zeus wears sandals, a chiton, and a himation, and like the other males on the vase, he has long flowing hair. He holds a spear vertically in his left hand, a favorite and ubiquitous motif of The Affecter. At right, Hermes walks away from Zeus but twists around to look at him and gesture toward him with his right hand; the hand overlaps a fox, which hangs from the bud frieze above. Hermes wears a petasos, short chiton, chlamys, and winged boots; he too carries a spear. His behavior suggests he is setting off on some errand for Zeus. At the far right stands a bearded man wearing a fillet and an animal skin belted over a chiton. He holds his right fingers to his mouth, but they do not hold anything. The animal skin is another common motif of the Affecter and does not help identify the man. To the left of Zeus stands Poseidon, identified by the trident in his left hand and the fish in his right. He wears a fillet, chiton, and himation. Behind him, a hare hangs from the bud frieze above. At the far left stands a naked boy, probably Ganymede, who holds a wreath in his right hand and a fillet in his left. Fillets hang in the background throughout the scene — either side of Zeus' head, in front of the man at right — and a cloth with rosettes hangs from the bud frieze at upper right. Added color — red and white — is used extensively throughout the scene. Red is used for the stripes on the himations and chlamys, the chiton of Hermes, the animal skin, the breast of Ganymede, the breasts of the fox and hares, the fox's tail, the crown of the petasos, the winged boots, and the breast, hair, and hindquarters of the sphinx. Poseidon has red hair, but the other men have long, parallel incisions in their hair; the same incisions are used on the beards of all the men (on side B as well). All the himations, the chlamys, and the chitons of Poseidon, Zeus, and the anonymous man are decorated with rosettes, consisting of a red dot surrounded by a corona of white dots. Added white is also used on the fillets, the bellies of the animals, the outline of the fox's tail, the head, throat, and fillet of the sphinx, and parts of the throne.

Side B: In the center, two bearded men face each other. The man at right is identified as Poseidon by his fish and trident; the man at left is probably Zeus, as he carries a spear like the enthroned Zeus on side A. Both men wear fillets and embroidered chitons and himations. At the right, a nude youth walks away to the right but looks back to the left. He wears a fillet, a necklace, and a beaded bandoleer across his chest. A fox hangs from the lateral frame at lower right, its head hung so far back it must be dead. At the left, behind Zeus, stands a nude youth dressed exactly like the youth at right, except that he has a cloak over his left arm and is holding a spear. At the far left stands a bearded man wearing a fillet, chiton, and himation. He gestures with his left hand and holds a fish in his right; as Poseidon has already been identified, the fish may identify him as Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. Fillets hang in throughout the background and from the bud frieze above, where they are joined by red and rosetted swags. All of the figures wear sandals and white-beaded fillets. All of the chitons and himations are embroidered with red and white rosettes; on the chiton of Nereus, these are supplemented by numerous red dots. Added red is strikingly employed on the chiton and himation of Poseidon, completely filling the background around the rosettes. All of the figures have red hair, except for the youth at left, whose hair is incised. The youths have red breasts, and the fox has a red breast and tail, and a white belly.

The panels are framed below and on the sides by slender black stripes. The upper frame on both sides consists of a band of lotus buds, pointing downward and linked by tendrils; on side B, there are dots in the upper interstices of the tendrils. There is a band of rays on the lower body, with shorter rays in the gaps between each ray. Paired stripes of added red circle the lower edge of the foot, the top of the band of rays, and the body beneath the figure panels. Single red stripes circle the upper and lower edges of the mo

Shape Description:

Amphora of type B: swelling, capacious body; wide echinus foot; cylindrical handles; wide, flaring mouth.


Under foot: *E, and additional, apparently meaningless scratches.


Buitron No. 13

Collection History:

Bequest of Henry W. Haynes. Former inventory no. 2244.

Sources Used:

Buitron 1972; CVA, Fogg-Gallatin.

Other Bibliography:

CVA, Fogg-Gallatin, 250-26, pl. 7, 2; LIMC, V, 346, Hermes 723a; Mommsen 1975, 85, pls. 1 and 16, no. 2; Buitron 1972, 34-35, no. 13.