|Achilles and Troilos? or Neoptolemos and Astyanax? On shoulder: Wall of Troy
|Attic Black Figure
|Attributed to the Antiope Group
|ca. 520 BC - ca. 500 BC
H. 0.0475 m.
Body: At the left of the composition the horses of a quadriga are shown coming through a gate. Behind them are a warrior in a Corinthian helmet and a Scythian archer. In the center of the composition Athena stands facing left. She holds a spear in her right hand, and a shield in her left hand. The shield is decorated with a border in added red and a leg in added white. Athena wears an aegis with snaky edges, and a helmet with a very tall crest. Under the shield of Athena crouches an old man whose age is rendered through baldness and the use of added white for his hair and beard. The old man faces to the right wrapped in a mantle and gesturing with his right hand. At the right of the composition, a warrior holds a small child in his right hand over his shoulder about to dash it to the ground. The warrior wears a corslet over a chitoniskos, a Corinthian helmet, and a sword at his waist. He holds his shield which is seen in back view on his left arm. His two spears lean against a tripod on a three step base at the far right of the scene. Shoulder:The walls of Troy. The crenelated line of the battlements of the walls of Troy are placed along the break in the vase from the body to the shoulder. Soldiers and women are shown in the openings of the crenellations. At the left of the composition, facing right, a Scythian archer prepares to draw his bow. Next to him a soldier facing right is partially obscured behind a crenellation. In the center of the scene, a warrior faces left, carrying a shield shown in profile view and wearing a Corinthian helmet with a tall crest. In the next opening, two figures are shown. An old man, depicted with beard and hair in added white, faces left and gestures down at the scene below. In front of and partially obscuring the old man is a warrior standing up from behind the protection of the battlements. He faces left and has his helmet pushed up in order to drink from a horn held in his right hand. In the next crenellation two women, wearing fillets are shown watching the action below and gesturing. At the extreme right of the composition, there are two more women shown. The background of this scene is filled with the branches of the tree that grows in the scene on the body of the vase.
The identification of the scene or scenes on this vase is very problematic. To begin with, are the shoulder and the body two separate scenes or are they meant to be read as one scene? The answer to this question determines how one reads the scene on the body.
The Antiope Group is a subdivision of the Leagros Group, contemporaries of the red figure Pioneers. Hydriai are the favorite shape for the workshop and scenes from the Trojan war are a favorite theme. The full picture field and the team of horses emerging from the frame of the picture are standard typical of compositions by the Leagros Group.
There are extensive nonsense inscriptions on both the shoulder and body of the vase.