Harvard 1972.42BLACK-FIGURE PANEL AMPHORA (TYPE B)
Lent by Frederick M. Watkins
Height: 17 in. (43.2 cm.)
Broken and repaired; missing pieces restored and painted.
Side A: Herakles and Geryon. Herakles, dressed in lion skin over chitoniskos, fights Geryon, the triple bodied monster who lived in regions farthest west and was rich in cattle (Apollod. 2.10). Herakles was sent to fetch the cattle as his tenth labor and succeeded in killing not only Geryon's herdsman, Eurytion, shown fallen at Herakles' feet, but also the monster's two-headed dog, Orthros, at Geryon's feet, and Geryon himself. Geryon is conceived as having three bodies joined at the waist. Each wears greaves and a high crested Corinthian helmet (two are visible; the top of the third is partly hidden), and each carries a shield. Side B: arming. In the center a man puts on a greave; at his feet is his Corinthian helmet. On either side are spectators: to the left a man in himation and a man in chiton and himation, to the right a woman in peplos and a nude man. Above on side A, palmette festoon; on side B, palmette chain; at the base are rays. Red, on side A: Herakles' chiton and the edge of the lion skin; Eurytion's beard and chiton; Geryon's greaves, helmets, and shield rims; Orthros' ruff. On side B: the men's hair and two beards, parts of their drapery, the woman's hair and parts of her peplos. The cuffs of the palmettes, the frames of the panels, the edge of the base, and the edge of the mouth.
Attributed to Group E [Beazley] ca. 550 - 530 B. C. Group E is the name given by Beazley to "a large and compact group which is very closely related to the work of the painter Exekias, though earlier. . ., the soil from which the art of Exekias springs" (ABV, 133). The battle of Herakles and Geryon is one of their favorite subjects and is found on at least nine other amphorae with much the same composition. Compare Würzburg L 245 (Langlotz 1932, pl. 79) where the drawing is neater, the shepherd Eurytion is partly fallen and the dog Orthros is missing.