previous next

162. 00.355 POINTED AMPHORISKOS from near Sunium PLATE XCVIII, 1-3

Height 0.191, diameter 0.087. VA. p. 179 fig. 111; the shape, Caskey G. p. 82. A, woman; B, Eros. About 425 B.C., by the Eretria Painter. I have always connected it with that exquisite miniaturist (VA. p. 180; ARV.1 p. 731, foot; BSA. 41 p. 13), and especially with his vase of the same shape in Oxford (Oxford 537: VA. p. 179 fig. 110 bis; CV. pl. 40, 3-5: ARV.1 p. 725 no. 8; ARV.2 p. 1248 no. 10); but hesitated to ascribe it to him: I now feel that I can do so, as a later work than the Oxford vase (ARV.2 p. 1248 no. 11).

On the shape see CV. Oxford i, pp. 30-31, BSA. 41 pp. 12-14, and EVP. pp. 102-3. There are eight examples in Attic red-figure, running from about 430 to about 380. Ours goes closely with two others, Oxford 537, already mentioned, and Berlin inv. 30036, by the Heimarmene Painter.1

The two figures are connected. On one side of the vase, a woman, dressed in chiton and himation, sits on a chair, with her feet on a stool, binding her head, drawing the cord or ribbon tight with both hands. A small head-band hangs above. On the other side of the vase, Eros, ΕΡΟΣ, stands on a rock, with one foot set higher, and waits, his right arm akimbo, his left hand holding a box. Relief-contours. Brown for the minor details of Eros' body, for the arcs on the coverts of his wings, for the crosses on the head-band and for its fringe. The box and the rock are scumbled with brown. White for the wreath of Eros, for the inscription, and for four round objects on the lid of the box. Such objects on boxes have always puzzled me:2 there should be some simple explanation of them, but I do not know what it is. As for the head-band, it reappears on the Oxford amphoriskos and on the pyxis by the Eretria Painter in Worcester, Massachusetts.3 The Worcester pyxis has an Eros quite like ours, but on a smaller scale.

Under each handle, there is an elegant floral design, carried out almost wholly in relief-lines. It is in three stories: a palmette rises from a pair of 'internal helices'4 and supports a taller palmette on its shoulders; a third palmette, shorter, sits in the usual way on the volutes at the top of the second. Tendrils, forming volutes, start from the tops of both the lower palmettes and end in flowers. There are long leaves in most of the axils; and a few floating circles. The design is not rigidly symmetrical. 'Internal helices' first appear in the Eretria Painter: on his squat lekythoi in Boston and in New York.5

E. Robinson, MFA Annual Report, 1900, pp. 64-65, no. 23; Chapman Tribute, illus.; Para., p. 469, no. 11; Isler & Seiterle 1973, p. 31 (C. Isler-Kerényi); Isler & Seiterle 1973, p. 66, pl. 25, 2 (I. Jucker); Lezzi-Hafter 1976, pp. 45, 69 (note 224), pl. 60, d; F. W. Hamdorf, in Kerameikos, Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen, Bd. 10 (1976), Berlin, W. de Gruyter, p. 198, under K 6; Beazley Addenda 1, p. 176; E. Brümmer, JdI 100 (1985), p. 142, note 698; LIMC, III, 1, p. 893, no. 505, III, 2, pl. 637, illus. (H. Cassimatis); Lezzi-Hafter 1988, pp. 2, 5, 46 (fig. 12), 238-242 (figs. 82b, 83b), 251, 345 (no. 249), pl. 161; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 353.

1 FR. pl. 170, 2 and iii p. 313; Neugebauer pl. 64, 2: ARV.1 p. 738, foot, no. 1; ARV.2 p. 1173 no. 1. The eighth red-figure vase of this type was recently in the London market (Cat. Sotheby 23 Oct. 1961 no. 161): I have not seen it: on one side, an Oriental youth (?) and a woman; on the other, two women, ill preserved. Elongated. The latest of the eight.

2 CV. Oxford i p. 28 on pl. 37, 3-4, and p. 38, left, top.

3 Worc. Ann. 2 pp. 28-31: ARV.1 p. 726 no. 26; ARV.2 p. 1250 no. 33.

4 The term is Jacobsthal's: see his O. pp. 130-2.

5 Boston 95.48: above, i, no. 65, with suppl. plate 4, 43 and ii p. 102: ARV.1 p. 724 no. 2; ARV.2 p. 1248 no. 11. New York 31.11.13: Richter and Hall pl. 176, 139: ARV.1 p. 725 no. 7; ARV.2 p. 1248 no. 9. See also below, iii p. 85 (Boston 00.345).

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: