164. 13.100 PELIKE from Suessula PLATE XCVI, 4-5Height 0.17, diameter 0.13. From the Spinelli collection. A, a man setting up a herm; B, a boy. About 440-430 B.C. One handle and part of the mouth are lost. The surface is badly damaged, and a good deal of the black glaze has flaked off: our photographs were taken before the recent restoration. There is no base-fillet. The foot, which projects but little, is torus-like, narrows somewhat downwards. On the front, an old man, his garment let down and tied round his waist, is setting up a herm in a sanctuary of Hermes, near the altar. A votive plaque is seen hanging, perhaps from the pair of bull's horns above it. The man places the herm carefully, with his left arm round it and his right hand holding it behind. He has a worn old face with bony forehead, long thin nose, puffy lips, sunken jaws, thin neck, weak, scanty brown hair and beard. This is surely not a nondescript workman, but the sculptor himself? The back of the vase is connected with the front: a boy in a himation moves gaily up with one arm stretched out. Brown for the sculptor's hair and beard, for the line of his cheek where it stands out from the toothless jaw, for the edge of the false ribs, for the binding of the long hair of the herm at shoulder level, for the design on the plaque, and for the tufts of hair below the bull's horns; on B, for the edge of the himation. There is no relief-contour. The shape of the sculptor's nose can be made out, though not in the photograph; the nose of the herm is damaged, and the upper edge of the eye. The sanctuary is like that depicted on earlier vases, for instance the column-krater, with a sacrificial scene, by the Pan Painter, in Naples:1there too we see a marble herm, wearing a bronze chaplet, an altar in front of the herm, and a pair of horns on the wall, this time goat's horns. Again, on a small lekythos, by the Icarus Painter, in Berlin, we have herm, altar, plaques, horns, and a tree as well.2 The design on our plaque is fretted and hard to make out. One thinks of a herm, clothed and crowned, as, for example, on the bell-krater by the Pantoxena Painter in Syracuse;3 but the explanation is not quite satisfactory. Hair and beard are often left blank in pictures of marble herms, and not filled in with dark colour as might be expected. There are a few other representations of sculptors on vases. On a cup by Epiktetos in Copenhagen, a sculptor is giving the last touches, with a chisel but without a mallet, to a marble herm.4 Bronze statuaries, one of them with a realistic Greek face, are represented on the Foundry Painter's name-piece in Berlin;5 perhaps also on an earlier cup, by the Euergides Painter, in Athens, but this part of the cup is fragmentary and the interpretation uncertain.6 A sculptor in marble is perhaps to be seen at work on the cup by the Foundry Painter in Munich, giving the last touches, this time with mallet as well as chisel, to the mane of a horse.7 Lastly, an Italiote sculptor of the fourth century is seen painting a marble statue of Herakles on a column-krater in New York.8 Our pelike at once recalls two vases in which, not a sculptor, but a satyr is engaged with a herm. On an oinochoe in Leningrad, of about 450 B.C., a satyr runs with a marble herm held over his shoulder;9 and on a jug of about 460, in the manner of the Tarquinia Painter, in Copenhagen, a satyr is placing a marble herm on its base.10 Or so I have always thought: according to Brommer the satyrs are stealing the herms:11 one can believe anything of a satyr, but I do not detect any sign of dishonesty either here or indeed in an Athens terracotta;12 in particular no fear is shown, and fear would have been suggested by making the satyrs look round. One would like to know the painter of our attractive little vase, but I cannot point to any other that is by the same hand. The shape of the pelike recalls the Hasselmann Painter, and the style of drawing is perhaps not far from him (ARV.2 p. 1139, foot, no. 1); but elsewhere he is a conventional artist, and our vase is not conventional.
F. Brein, ÖJh 48 (1966-67) (Hauptblatt), pp. 58-59, note 115; LIMC, V, 1, p. 305, no. 171, V, 2, pl. 215, illus. (G. Siebert); CVA, Leiden, 4, p. 31, under no. I.1950/7,5 (M. F. Vos).