Side B: Nereid carrying helmet

Side B: scene at center

Side A: Thetis carrying shield to Achilles, on hippocamp

Side A: scene at center

Side A: Achilles

Handle: right of side A

Collection: Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum
Summary: Side A: Five Nereids riding sea creatures, bearing armor to Achilles
B: Four Nereids riding sea creatures, carrying armor
Ware: Apulian Red Figure
Painter: Near the Gravina Painter
Date: ca. 425 BC - ca. 400 BC

H. 50.9 cm., d. of mouth 28.0 cm., d. of body 36.2 cm., d. of foot 23.2 cm.

Shape: Pelike
Period: High Classical

Decoration Description:

On the neck, side A bears enclosed palmette-fans with white dots between some leaves, all between two narrow reserved lines, as well as eggs between narrow reserved lines. Side B shows berried laurel running to the left between reserved bands. Encircling the lower body is a meander band. Under the handles are superposed palmettes with drop leaves and side scrolls, the left scroll cut off by the design on both sides. On the groove near the top of foot, a reserved band with partly faded pink wash occurs. The underside of the foot is reserved, with a deep red wash. The various marine animals on the vessel are shaded in dilute glaze.

On side A, the arms of Achilles are depicted. Achilles is seated by the seashore, with five Nereids all moving to the left. One sits on a hippocamp, while three are astride dolphins and one is on a fish monster. The sea is depicted by an irregular band of reserved waves getting smaller toward the right. Pairs of curved white lines are seen above, as well as two small fish--one a dogfish, the other resembling a bass. In the upper left sits Achilles, with his head pointed down and resting on his left hand, on what appears to be an altar decorated with two diagonal lines and black dots in the interstices. Achilles is barefoot, and a cloak with a black border covers his lower body. He is holding a knotty stick in his right hand. Before him is an arcing reserved wave pattern on a narrow reserved band, bordered by white on each side. Thetis, sitting on a hippocamp, is carrying Achilles' new shield. The inside of the white-edged shield is black with a white wave-and-dot border. Thetis is wearing a sleeveless, belted chiton with a black border, a black-bordered himation over her lower body and veiling her head, and a white bracelet on each wrist. On her forehead she has a white radiate stephane and a black-dotted headband. Her shoes are decorated with a palmette. Behind the forelegs of the hippocamp, a fin appears. Its snaky body is decorated by cone-shaped white dots. Its anatomical details and contours have varying shades of dilute glaze and wash. There are traces of added white in the mane. Behind Thetis comes a Nereid riding a dolphin and holding a cuirass in front of her. She is wearing a sleeveless chiton. The cuirass has remnants of yellowish brown dilute glaze on its shoulders. In the lower left, a third Nereid appears, riding a dolphin, wearing a himation over her left shoulder. A fourth Nereid follows her, also on a dolphin, wearing a girt, sleeveless chiton with a double stripe down the side and a black-bordered hem. In her left hand she holds one end of a bordered himation, which is draped behind her. A fifth Nereid follows, riding a huge fish with white spines and bared teeth. The monster's body resembles that of the hippocamp, except that its tail is not forked. In her right hand, she holds a low Corinthian helmet with mostly flaked-off added white.

The scene on side B is similar to side A, except that four Nereids instead of five are pictured. Three are riding dolphins, the fourth a hippocamp, all moving to the left. The sea is depicted at the bottom of the scene, with an irregular wave band and a fish. The first Nereid is wearing chiton and himation; with her right hand she plucks at the himation. The second Nereid has a chiton with a double-stripe down the side and a bordered himation pulled up over her head. She is riding a Hippocamp and is carrying in her left hand a white-edged shield with black dots on the border and a black star with white center as device. The third Nereid appears in the upper right, wearing a himation pulled over her head and holding in her right hand a low-crested Corinthian helmet with dilute glaze details. The last Nereid, below the third, has her left hand covered by her drapery, which resembles that of the first. A fillet appears in the field's upper left.

Shape Description:

The broad mouth has a torus rim; the handles are vertical with central ribs. The body is bulbous. The disk foot has a groove near the top.

Collection History:

European Art Market

Sources Used:

CVA, USA 27, Malibu 4, pp. 12-13, pls. 193-195.