118. 00.334 KANTHAROS from TARQUINIA PLATE LXVIIIHeight c. 237, breadth c. 294: 'the weight of the handles pulled the bowl out of shape before the firing' (Caskey G. p. 160). From the Bruschi collection, Tarquinia. RM. 5 pl. 2 and p. 324 (Reisch) = WV. 1890-1 pl. 72, whence Perrot 10 p. 268, Pfuhl fig. 320, Hoppin ii p. 227, (the chief picture on A) Buschor Satyrtänze fig. 41; A, Himmelmann-Wildschütz Zur Eigenart des klassischen Götterbildes fig. 30; A, Antaios, pl. 7 fig. 3 (Himmelmann-Wildschütz): the shape, Caskey G. p. 160 = above, i p. 17 fig. 17. About 520-510 B.C., by the Nikosthenes Painter (VA. p. 23, at that time called 'the Painter of Sleep and Death'; Att. V. p. 43 no. 1; ARV.1 p. 100 no. 20; ARV.2 p. 126 no. 27). The first mention of the vase is in AZ. 1884 p. 238, by Paul Jonas Meier. The signature of the potter is on the side of the foot, ΝΙΚΟΣΘΕΝΕΣΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝ. This is one of three kantharoi, all red-figured, with the signature of Nikosthenes. The others are Boston 95.61, from Vulci,1 and the fragment, from Leuke, in Odessa, which is also signed by the painter Epiktetos.2 Two others, unsigned, are seen to have been fashioned by Nikosthenes: London E 154, from Vulci,3 and one in Leningrad, from the Stieglitz collection.4 There are two types: Boston 95.61 is of Type A; and so is the vase in Leningrad, although it lacks a characteristic element, the fillet at the top of the stem.5 Type A had reached its full development before the red-figure period, as is shown by well-preserved kantharoi in London and Florence.6 Type C, on the other hand, is not known before Nikosthenes. Boston 00.334 is of Type C.7 The upper part of the bowl is convex instead of concave or quasi-concave, and it passes into the lower part, the cul, with only a slight jog, so that the two parts form almost a single curve. Between cul and stem there is a stout fillet, as in Type A, but the stem is shorter and thicker; the profile of the foot is a stout torus; and there is a pronounced jog on the upper side of the foot. The handles, as in Type A, are concave. The unsigned kantharos in London is also of Type C; and, to judge from the curve of the bowl, the fragment in Odessa may have been. A generation later, Douris fashioned, decorated, and signed a splendid kantharos of Type C, Brussels A 718.8 The kantharos by the Sosias Painter, Athens, Acr. 556, only fragments of which remain,9 may have been of this type: it would come between those by Nikosthenes and that by Douris. The exact form of the foot in Boston (Boston 00.334) can be made out from the photographs. The potter has rounded off the upper edge of the torus, both towards the foot-profile, and towards the foot-jog, which is also rounded; and the black of the upper side is continued a good way down the profile, even at the expense of restricting the space for the inscription. This is very much the same foot as Nikosthenes used for many of his 'Nicosthenic' neck-amphorae; and his variant of Cup A10 shows the same attitude towards the foot. The jog at the level of the handles is so slight that it might escape notice at first glance. In the London kantharos it has disappeared: but, to compensate, the jog on the foot is not rounded: the 'punctuation' is shifted but not abolished, and the case is the same as in lip-cup and band-cup.11 Douris's version of the shape is more massive and powerful, the bowl deeper, the stem shorter; there is no jog on the top of the foot, but the foot-profile is reserved and the upper edge of it is not rounded away: another shift of punctuation. Of the five kantharoi fashioned by Nikosthenes, the fragment in Odessa is signed by the painter Epiktetos. The rest were decorated by another artist, the Nikosthenes Painter. On one side of our kantharos, Dionysos stands, setting one foot forward, at a lighted altar, over which he pours wine from his kantharos. A woman, a maenad, stands facing him, looking down and stretching her arms straight downwards, with the hands open. A flat basket with scooped-out side stands on the ground at her feet: it is the κανοῦν, often seen in pictures of sacrifices, which contains the lighter requisites of the cult.12 Here the sides are solid: they are often voided. Reisch has aptly compared the group of Dionysos and the maenad with two figures on a contemporary cup, by the Ambrosios Painter, in Würzburg,13 and conjectured that the maenad is strewing handfuls of groats (ὀλαί) on the altar, groats taken from the κανοῦν beside her on the ground. To left of this pair, a maenad dances; to right of them, another, less vigorously. Behind the left-hand maenad a thyrsus stands or leans. Between the volutes of the altar there is a rough band of egg-pattern, and on either side of the band a dot, which might seem to have strayed from the oculus of the volute. In the base of the altar the artist must be indicating curvilinear mouldings. Dionysos and the right-hand maenad are dressed in long chitons, and himatia of 'Ionic' mode. The other maenads wear the chiton only; in the woman at the altar the girdle is concealed by the kolpos; in the other it is exposed. The women have bracelets. All four heads are wreathed; the left-hand one with ivy, the rest with nondescript leaves. Relief-contours, except for mouth and lips of the right-hand maenad, and the lower side of her nose. Brown for the crinkled lines on the upper parts of the chitons and on the himation. In the left-hand figure the loose ends of the hair are in relief-lines. The contour of her hair is incised; in the others it is partly incised, partly reserved. Red for the wreaths, the wine, and the flame. On the subject see also Erika Simon Opfernde Götter pp. 50-57. On the other side of the vase, Dionysos reclines on the ground with one elbow on a doubled cushion. He holds a drinking-horn in one hand, and in the other a great branch, from which vine-leaves grow, and ivy as well. He turns his head round towards a satyr who approaches with a wineskin over his shoulder. At the feet of the god, another satyr, with his left foot raised, holds a pointed amphora by the end and balances it over his left thigh. On the left, a skin flute-case hangs, with the mouthpiece-box. The satyrs have a grave appearance and extend one arm to announce their presence. The dominant in the picture is the violent turn of Dionysos's head, and the painter must have been pleased with it. The god's himation is let down to his waist, and he wears a saccos, really a woman's head-dress. So do many revellers on vases,14 but I do not remember it worn by a god elsewhere. The satyrs are wreathed with ivy, and so is the amphora. The hair-contour of the left-hand satyr is incised, that of the right-hand one partly incised and partly reserved. The front-contour of Dionysos' beard has a relief-line on either side of it. His nostril is a brown line. The anatomy of his middle is very formal, but the technique — relief-lines, and the hollows washed with brown — is the same as on the calyx-krater by Euphronios in the Louvre and other masterpieces of the time. The drinking-horn has a metal mouthpiece, silver or gold. Brown strokes indicate the fur of the flute-case. There are brown stripes on the cushion as well as black. Red for the wreaths and leaves. The lower part of the kantharos has two scenes which are often coupled and which readily adapt themselves to a shallow picture-space: Herakles and the Lion, Herakles and the Bull. Herakles is beardless in both; and in both the direction is right to left instead of the much more usual left to right. We take the Lion picture first, as it is slightly the more elaborate. Herakles, kneeling and bending over, grasps the lion's left hind-leg with his left hand, forces its forepart down, and presses his right arm round its neck to throttle it. The lion, which is rather small, strikes at the hero's forehead with its right hind-paw. Behind the group, a tree, as often in this scene, serves to fill the background above the figures. On the right, Iolaos, squatting, seen partly from behind, extends his left arm in encouragement, and holds a spear in his right hand. He wears a chlamys, and a petasos (with chin-strap) of the Robin Hood sort. The artist has drawn the right knee, but not the right shank and foot. The bow and quiver hang under the handle to right. On the other side of the vase, Herakles kneels, holding the bull by one horn. The binding is nearly completed. On the right are his bow and quiver, suspended. To right of them, under the handle, is a tree, with the hero's mantle spread out on it. In these two minor pictures, the contours have relief. The hair-contours are reserved. Herakles wears a head-fillet when contending with the bull. This, and the rope, are in red. The anatomy of the middles is in the technique already described. A band of ray-pattern runs round the vase below the pictures, separated from them by a thin brown line. The rays, which are blunt, are edged with relief-lines. There are several pentimenti — where relief-lines had been drawn in wrong places. This is a quaint work. It does not reach the point at which one says 'Why learn to draw, if such good results can be obtained without?' But it is on the way. Reisch, in the prime publication, had already associated the style with red-figure vases bearing the signature of the potter Pamphaios. Several painters collaborated with Pamphaios, but many of the cups with his signature are in fact by the same hand as the Boston kantharos. We call the artist the Nikosthenes Painter. Like many vase-painters whose general level was not high, he could surpass himself on occasion and rise to a great height: for the Sleep and Death cup in the British Museum must be his. A word about the other Boston kantharos with the signature of Nikosthenes, Boston 95.61, not published here.15 The general style is akin to that of the Epeleios Group, although one or two particulars recall the Nikosthenes Painter.
S. B. Luce, Jr., AJA 20 (1916), p. 468; Johnson 1938, p. 347; Brommer 1956, pp. 81 (no. B 11), 120 (no. B 2); Brommer 1960, pp. 108 (no. B 11), 154 (no. B 2); Karouzos 1961, p. 76; B. B. Shefton, Hesperia 31 (1962), p. 347; A. Peredolskaja, in E. Homann-Wedeking and B. Segall, eds., 1964, Festschrift Eugen v. Mercklin, Waldsassen/Bayern, Stiftland-Verlag, p. 117, note 2; Noble 1965, p. 21, fig. 135; Para., p. 333, no. 27; Brommer 1973, pp. 140 (no. 28), 203 (no. B 7); Schelp 1975, pp. 42, 58, 60, 87, no. K 39; Wandlungen, p. 213, note 9 (S. Karusu); Parke 1977, p. 108, pl. 39; Brommer Festschrift, p. 279 (I. Schwenk-Raab); G. T. W. Hooker, JHS 98 (1978), p. 191; U. Heimberg, 1982, Die Keramik des Kabirions, de Gruyter, Berlin, p. 35, note 35; Beazley Addenda 1, p. 87; Immerwahr 1984, pp. 342, 344, pl. 41, fig. 3; Brijder 1984, p. 133 (I. Scheibler); Kurtz & Boardman 1986, p. 53; LIMC, III, 1, pp. 456 (no. 363), 495 (no. 859), 503-504, III, 2, pl. 338, illus. (C. Gasparri, A. Veneri); Korshak 1987, p. 28, note 41; Schöne 1987, pp. 81, 162, 305, no. 534; R. M. Schneider, 1989, in P. C. Bol, ed., Forschungen zur Villa Albani: Katalog der antiken Bildwerke, Berlin, Mann, II, p. 286, under no. 231, note 16; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 176; LIMC, V, 1, pp. 24 (no. 1874), 32 (W. Felten); LIMC, V, 1, p. 62, no. 2345, V, 2, pl. 78, illus. (L. Todisco); LIMC, V, 1, p. 689, under no. 17 (M. Pipili).