Side A: Herakles, upper half

Side A: oblique from right

Side A: Herakles and the lion

Side B: bull's arched back

Side A: bow and quiver above Herakles

Side B: oblique from right

Collection: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania
Summary: Side A: Herakles and the Nemean lion. Side B: Theseus and the bull.
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Kleophrades Painter
Context: Possibly from Vulci
Date: ca. 490 BC

H. 0.344 m., D. 0.312 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 187, 62; 1632
Shape: Stamnos
Beazley Number: 201712
Region: Etruria
Period: Late Archaic


The vase is in excellent condition.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Herakles and the Nemean Lion. Herakles, on the left, faces the lion, his left arm around the lion's neck and grasping the lion's upper jaw with his right hand, forcing his head and chest to the ground. The exhausted lion's tongue hangs out; his haunches are raised as he struggles to stand. His left paw is stretched forward against Herakles' head as he tries to push him away. Herakles is naked and wears a headband. His club leans behind him on the left. A quiver hangs by a leather thong above him. A tree is placed centrally behind the struggling figures.

Side B: Theseus and the Marathon Bull. Theseus and the bull face each other, Theseus on the left and the bull on the right. Theseus, standing over the bull, pushes him down with his left arm, forcing the bull's chest to the ground while he holds him down with his left foot on the bull's head. Theseus is prepared to strike the bull, his club raised behind him in his extended right arm. The bull's front left leg is curled beneath him, and his hindquarters are raised as he struggles to stay up. Theseus is naked but wears his quiver. A short cloak hangs behind him on the left. There is a tree behind the bull.


Above Herakles on Side A, in reverse: *K*A*L*O*S*E. Above Theseus on Side B, in reverse: *K*A*L*O*S*E.

Collection History:

The vase was once in the possession of Joseph Buonaparte I, acquired when he was king of Naples. Buonaparte gave the vase to Dr. Nathaniel Chapman no later then 1835. After Dr. Chapman's death, it was bought by Mr. Edward S. Clarke and afterwards sold by him to Dr. F.W. Lewis. It was subsequently given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and is now on extended loan to the University Museum, Philadelphia.

Other Bibliography:

Dohan 1935a, 451-452; Dohan 1935b, 5, pl. 5; Herter 1941, 218; Dohan 1942, 90.(?) (1943); Dinsmoor 1944, 91 fig 12; Boardman 1979, 37 fig. 6; Beazley Addenda 2, 188.