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173. 03.833 NECK-AMPHORA from Suessula SUPPL. PLATE 28

Height 0.355, diameter 0.175. From the Spinelli collection. A, fight. B, satyr and maenad. About 400 B.C., by the Suessula Painter (VA. p. 184; ARV.1 p. 852 no. 3; ARV.2 p. 1344 no. 4).

This is one of four small neck-amphorae, with twisted handles, found at Suessula. A fifth, from another Campanian site, Cumae, is in Naples. The shape is the same in all, and the five are evidently by one potter. The pictures also are by one artist, whom I have called the Suessula Painter after the four (ARV.1 pp. 852-3; ARV.2 pp. 1344-5). Two of them have recently changed hands and have been republished, so I repeat, with additions, the descriptions of my nos. 1, 2, 4, and 5.

  • 1. New York 17.46.1. A, ML. p. 682, 2; A, Coll. Borelli Bey pl. 21, 226; A, Richter and Milne fig. 23; Richter and Hall pl. 162, 165 and pl. 169, 165; A, Richter Handbook pl. 94, c.
  • 2. New York 44.11.12 (ex Hirsch). A, Coll. Borelli Bey pl. 21, 225, whence ML. 22 p. 682 no. 3; A, Coll. Hirsch pl. 4, 165; A, Bull. Metr. 1945 p. 169; A, Richter ARVS. fig. 122; A, Richter Handbook pl. 94, b.
  • 4. New York 41.11.13 (ex Hirsch). A, Coll. Borelli Bey pl. 21, 224, whence ML. 22 p. 682 no. 1; A, Coll. Hirsch pl. 4, 166; A, Bull. Metr. 1945 p. 168; A, Richter Handbook pl. 94, a.
  • 5. Naples RC 160, from Cumae. A, ML. 22 pl. 92. Restored.
Gàbrici had already connected nos. 1, 2, and 4 with no. 5 (ML. 22 pp. 682 — 3).

The height of the five vases is about 35 centimetres. The shape is farther from the tradition of the neck-amphora with twisted handles than in the Kadmos Painter's vase (no. 170). This is obvious in the base and foot: the foot is in two degrees, but the upper member, reserved, is very small, and not very distinct from the lower, which spreads a good deal downwards; there is no base-fillet, and the body curves in strongly towards the base. It is almost a bell-krater base and foot. The mouth is in two degrees, but only a slight ridge separates the two. In four of the vases — not in the Naples — the top of the upper member is divided into two thin fillets: as it is in the somewhat earlier neck-amphora with twisted handles in Arezzo,1 and in the Suessula Painter's frightful masterpiece, the neck-amphora from Melos in the Louvre (Louvre S 1677).2 The topside of the mouth is reserved. The floral design on the neck is of a type that had long been used in neck-amphorae, but here it is carried out in white: the neck-amphora in Arezzo also has white decoration on the neck, though not floral. Above the pictures, a tongue-pattern of traditional form, but large. Below the pictures, maeander in threes, interrupted by chequer-squares. At the handles, a conventional floral design, without relief-contour, of the same type as on the neck, but in red-figure.

All these features are shared by the five vases. We now speak of the Boston vase itself. The reverse of the neck is black, without the white palmettes.

The chief subject is a fight, on uneven ground, which is not, however, indicated, as one might have expected, by lines. A young warrior strikes with his sword at a bearded warrior who has fallen on one knee, has lost his sword, and picks up a stone. A third warrior, bearded, backs the first up, he too with a stone in his hand. The fourth person is a young archer, who has just shot. The first three wear chlamys, sandals and stockings, Attic helmet; the archer a chitoniskos, belt, sandals and stockings, and a petasos slung round his neck. The chlamys of the fallen man has a border of spots and above it a wave-pattern; the other chlamydes a thick black border. The archer's chitoniskos, which is a little more than knee-length, is richly decorated: both above and below, it has an ample border consisting of a thick band, with a design, roughly rendered, of sea-horses, between two thinner spotted ones, then a row of long rays. The part of the garment not covered by those borders is strewn with stars and arcs. The quiver hangs from a baldrick at the left flank. The faces and parts of the bodies have relief-contour. The shields are scumbled with brown, except the rim and in two cases a black round in the middle which is charged with a white star. All three helmets have white plumes, and two of the crests are white. The sandals are white, the stockings black.

On the reverse of the vase, a satyr dances, or falls into a dance-posture, as a maenad rushes past with a platter of fruit balanced on her left hand. She is seen from behind, except the face, but the right foot is drawn as if it were frontal. She wears a peplos, with overfall, over-girt, and embattled border. The attitude of the satyr is one of the schemata of the sikinnis: compare the second satyr from the left on the bell-krater by the Nikias Painter in Gotha,3 or the satyr on a Boeotian cup-skyphos, by the Painter of the Athens Argos, in Athens.4

There is no relief-contour on the reverse. White for the fruit and for the leaves in the maenad's hair.

Of the other four vases, New York 44.11.13 stands especially close to ours, and might be called a companion piece. The attitudes of the two principal figures are almost the same, but seen from behind, and the maenad on the reverse is almost a repeat.

All five vases are tawdry work. This is the end of the Attic neck-amphora with twisted handles, and nearly the end of the Attic neck-amphora.


Para., p. 482, no. 4; G. Bakalakis, AntK 14 (1971), p. 76, note 15; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 368.

Exhibited: Brockton Art Museum, 1984-1987 (J. J. Herrmann, Jr., In the Shadow of the Acropolis, pp. 11, 24-25, 27-29 [no. 15, illus.], 40); Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 1988-199.


1 Arezzo 1460; FR. pl. 67: ARV.1 p. 793; ARV.2 p. 1157 no. 25.

2 FR. pll. 96-97; phots. Giraudon 26991-5: ARV.1 p. 832 no. 6; ARV.2 p. 1344 no. 1.

3 AJA. 1939 pl. 14; Brommer Satyroi fig. 19; Brommer Satyrspiele p. 41: ARV.1 p. 847 no. 13; ARV.2 p. 1334 no. 19.

4 Athens 1407: AM. 65 pl. 13 (Lullies); Brommer Satyrspiele p. 17.

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