previous next

68. 98.878 HYDRIA (of black-figure shape) PLATE XXXIII

The shape, Caskey G. p. 109. Acquired from Hartwig. Present height (the foot is modern) 0.53; diameter 0.325. Warrior leaving home (youth and woman). Between the two heads, ΛΥΚ[Ο]Σ; lower, downwards, ΚΑ[Λ]Ο[Σ] (ARV. p. 932, foot). About 500-490 B.C.

The hydria is of the old type commonly used by black-figure painters, with the neck marked sharply off from the shoulder and the shoulder from the body; as opposed to the kalpis-hydria, which came in about 520 and by 480 had almost driven the other out. In detail, our vase is less old-fashioned than the Boston hydria Boston 13.200 (no. 69). It is slenderer; the body curves less rapidly downwards; the neck does not flare; the back-handle is higher; and there is a distinct incurve at the base. A very rare feature is the lipped mouth; it never occurs in black-figured hydriai, and the only other red-figured hydriai of this type that have it are London E 162 and Madrid 11117 (see below).1 The foot is missing and is restored as a double ogee: incorrectly according to Caskey (G. p. 108), 'the type of foot found in kalpides having been used in place of the simple disc proper to hydriai of the black-figure type', and in his drawing he supplied a torus foot. It should be said, however, that although the simple foot is proper to the type, most of the late archaic red-figure examples have a double-ogee foot: such are the following:

  • Aberdeen 695. JHS. 70 pp. 29 and 31. Early Berlin Painter (ARV. p. 140 no. 127).
  • London E 162. CV. pl. 70, 3; JHS 70 p. 27 fig. 5. Early Berlin Painter, same style as the last (ARV. p. 140 no. 128).
  • Vatican. Mus. Greg. ii pl. 15, 1; Berl. pll. 25-6. By the Berlin Painter (ARV. p. 140 no. 129).
  • Madrid 11117. CV. pl. 13, 1. By the Berlin Painter (ARV. p. 140 no. 130).
  • Paris, Cab. Méd. 439. Phot. Giraudon 8075, whence Cook Zeus ii p. 26. By the Berlin Painter, middle or late (ARV. p. 140 no. 131).
  • London E 163. CV. pl. 70, 4. By the Copenhagen Painter (ARV. p. 194 no. 17).
  • London E 161. CV. pl. 71, 1. By the Syriskos Painter (ARV. p. 196 no. 20).
The hydriai likest ours in shape are (1-2) Aberdeen 695 and London E 162, by the Berlin Painter; (3-4) the Vatican hydria by the Berlin Painter, and a black-figured hydria in the Städel Institut at Frankfort (Schaal F. pl. 12) which goes with it in shape, even to the rare form of the mouth, which may be by the same potter, and which stands away from all other black-figured vases; (5-6) London E 163 and London E 161. All these hydriai have the double-ogee foot.2

As to decoration, the earlier red-figured hydriai of black-figure shape follow the system of the black-figured ones, and frame both the picture on the body and the picture on the shoulder: but nearly all the later ones drop the frame, and most of them are decorated 'Nolan-wise' with a couple of figures on the body and none on the shoulder.3 It is the same change as takes place in the amphora (see Kl. p. 15). Our painter does not go the whole way: the frames have disappeared, but there is a picture on the shoulder as well as one on the body. The Berlin Painter makes the same compromise on his hydriai in Madrid and the Cabinet des Médailles.

The theme of the chief picture is 'the warrior leaving home'. The libation before departure is described in Homer (Hom. Il. 16.220-56; Hom. Il. 24.281; Hom. Od. 15.147: see Wrede in AM. 41 pp. 260-2), but does not become a favourite subject in vase-painting till the last decades of the sixth century: it remains popular almost to the end of the fifth: see ii p. 77. A young man stands with body and right leg frontal, but facing to right, his head bent, a phiale in his right hand, his spear in his left; his shield is on the ground, leaning against his knee. A woman stands before him, holding out an oinochoe in her right hand, while with a gesture of her left she asks for the phiale to fill. The drawing is precise and minute, in thin fine lines. The parts of the body, at least in the male figure, are not well knit together: there is stiffness: but feeling also: this is a solemn act.

The physical type of the woman, slender and delicate, with thin neck and long face, yet ample breasts, occurs on other vases of the period: for instance in early works of the Berlin Painter, such as his Panathenaic amphora in the Cabinet des Médailles (de Ridder p. 280; B, Berl. pl. 13, 1: ARV. p. 132 no. 6), or on the early Douris cup in Berlin (Berlin 2283: AZ. 1883 pl. 1, whence Hoppin Rf. i p. 211: ARV. p. 281 no. 19). For the youth, one might compare the Apollo of the Berlin Painter on his Würzburg vase (Munich 2312; FR. pl. 134, 2; Langlotz pl. 165: ARV. p. 132 no. 7), the discus-thrower on his early Panathenaic in Munich (Munich 2310; VA. p. 35; Berl. pl. 7, 2: ARV. p. 132 no. 5), the Achilles on his hydria in New York (New York 10.210.19; JHS. 31 pl. 9; Berl. pl. 22, 1; Richter and Hall pl. 16: ARV. p. 140 no. 132). All these for the physical types only, not for the style. I do not know of any other vases by the painter of the Boston hydria: it might perhaps be an 'essay-piece', the work of a very young man doing his best.

The youth wears chitoniskos, corslet, helmet, greaves, has a sword at his side. Only one shoulder-flap is fastened down to the knob or button on the chest. The body of the corslet is covered with small rectangular scales, whether of leather or metal. The left half of the middle is further protected by a flap, covered with small semi-oval scales, no doubt of metal, which is laid on top of the rectangles, but under the shoulder-flap. It is bordered above by a broad band ornamented with a pattern of billets and a line of dots winding between them. A similar flap, one would think, will be laid on the right half of the middle (although one does make out where it can be), and the right-shoulder flap then fastened down over it: see, however, the corslet on the cup by Douris formerly in the Pembroke collection (El. 4 pl. 98: ARV. p. 287 no. 98).

Two rows of pteryges are attached to the belt of the corslet. A corner of the shoulder-piece shows in the region of the right armpit. The caul of the Attic helmet is covered with studs, rendered by raised black dots. Crest, nasal, nape-piece; cheek-pieces, one up, one down (as also on the stamnos by the Berlin Painter in Munich, Munich 2406, FR. pl. 106, 2, ARV. p. 138 no. 106). The outline of the eye is nowhere open. Eyelashes in brown. The lips are parted. The woman wears a chiton, and a himation of 'Ionic' mode, which passes over the right shoulder; saccos, earrings, bracelets. The inner corner of the dot- and-circle eye is slightly open. The hair is combed straight down in front and is rendered by relief-lines on a light brown background. The lips are closed and the corner of the mouth drawn down.

The figures are contoured with relief-lines. The brown lines on the chitons and on the thighs of the youth do not come out in the photograph. Red for bracelets, baldric, and inscriptions.

Lykos was a common name, and the Lykos of our inscription need not be the same as the Lykos or Lykoi commemorated on other vases (ARV. pp. 932-3).

On the shoulder of the vase, two lions approach a bull. This is not one of those closely interknit groups of lions and bull that are frequent in archaic art: the animals mutter or roar, but do not touch. The artist probably had in mind the rows of paratactic animals that often fill the predellas, and sometimes the shoulders, of black-figured hydriai. There is a similar group on the neck of the volute-krater by the Syleus Painter in Antioch (JHS. 59 p. 6: ARV. p. 166 no. 24): on the other hand, for the shoulder of his hydria of black-figure shape in the Ferrari collection (Rend. Pont. Acc. 10 p. 205: ARV. p. 166 no. 31) he uses the fully interknit group — lion and lioness attacking a fawn.

The animals have little relief-contour. The belly of the bull, with the elbow of the right foreleg, is restored.


Beazley 1961, p. 52; ARV2, p. 1596 (perhaps the Flying-angel Painter); E. Vermeule 1965, fig. 24; Anderson 1970, pp. 23, 29, 89, pl. 6; Para., p. 507; J. Buckler, Hesperia 41 (1972), p. 471, pl. 115, b; Beazley Addenda 1, p. 196; E. Hostetter, 1986, Bronzes from Spina, Mainz am Rhein, P. von Zabern, I, p. 56, note 256; Padgett 1989, p. 214; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 389.


1 Somewhat less uncommon is a mouth with a 'lip' below as well as above: this is found in some early bf. hydriai (e.g. Louvre E 735, Pottier pl. 54: Louvre F 8 (CV. III Hf pl. 60 and pl. 59, 3)), in a bf. hydria by the A.D. Painter in London (London B 329: CV. pl. 88, 1), in the very early rf. hydria Berlin 2174 (ARV. pp. 13 and 33), and in the rf. hydria in Aberdeen (see above).

2 The exceptional bf. hydria in the Petit Palais (CV. pl. 11) has a foot akin to the double-ogee.

3 A recent addition to these hydriai is the fragment published in Epit. Tsounta p. 498 pl. 1 and pl. 2, 2: by the Syriskos Painter.

hide References (3 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: