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Side A: warrior on right

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Side A: warriors fighting over body

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Side A: female onlooker

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Side A: warrior on left

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Overview: side A

Collection: Munich, Antikensammlungen
Summary: Side A: Two warriors fight over body while two women look on. Side B: Amazons and warrior.
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Painter: Name vase of the Painter of Munich 1410
Context: From Vulci
Date: ca. 520 BC

H. 0.50 m.

Primary Citation: ABV, 311.1; Para, 135
Shape: Amphora
Beazley Number: 301593
Region: Etruria
Period: Archaic

Decoration Description:

Side A: In the center of the composition, two warriors fight with spears raised over the body of third warrior, while two women look on. The warrior on the left moves to the right holding his spear in his right hand and wearing his shield, shown in rear view, on his left arm. He wears a Corinthian helmet pushed up on his head with a kerykeion ornament, a chitoniskos, a corslet, a chlamys, and greaves. The warrior on the right moves to the left. He too is bearded and has a helmet with a crest pushed back on his head. He wears a nebris over a short chiton, greaves, and a sword at his waist. His shield, shown in frontal view, has cutouts at the sides, and is decorated with a gorgoneion, a lion, and a snake. In between the feet of these warriors lies the corpse of a third. He wears a corslet over a short chiton, greaves and a Corinthian helmet with a tall crest. His head is shown twisted completely around, and his shield in profile view lies on his chest. An eagle flies between the two warriors. On each side of this central fight, a woman wearing an elaborately decorated peplos and mantle, and holding a long staff stands watching.

The battle of Achilles and Memnon over the body of Antilochos, related in the lost epic poem the Aethiopis, was a very popular scene on Attic black figure vases. The figures of the composition are often labelled allowing identification of the warriors and of the two women as their mothers Eos and Thetis. However, the scene often appears as on this vase without inscriptions identifying the figures. In this context, the scene may have been meant to be understood as Achilles and Memnon or it may have become a generic battle scene.

Side B: Amazons and warrior. At the left of the composition, a warrior faces left, wearing a helmet and greaves, and carrying a spear and a shield with a bird shield device, which obscures his body. In the middle of the composition, an Amazon leads a horse to the right. She wears a Scythian cap, a mantle, and she carries two spears. At the right, an Amazon moves to the right looking back over her shoulder. She wears a short chiton, greaves, a sword at her waist, and a helmet with a tall crest. She carries a spear in her right hand and carries her shield on her left arm.

von Bothmer 1957, 91 has shown that beginning in the mid sixth century Amazons begin to be depicted in Attic vase-painting doing standard warrior activities, such as arming, leading horses, carrying dead comrades. Compositions such as this of an Amazon leading a horse accompanied by a male warrior are very popular.

The Painter of Munich 1410 uses a lot of added color. Women's flesh is white and added red and white are used throughout the composition. The painter executes a battle scene almost identical to that on side A of this vase on Karlsruhe 61.89.


Trademark under the foot of Johnston 1979, Type 39A, 1

Collection History:

Once in the Candelori collection.

Sources Used:

CVA, Munich 1, pls. 41, no. 2, 42, nos. 1-3, 52, no. 4; Johnston 1979; von Bothmer 1957; LIMC, I, Antilochos I, 835-837; Bohr 1982