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Boston 01.8037


Lent by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (01.8037)

Height: 21 13/16 in. (55.36 cm.)

Missing parts restored and repainted. Beneath the foot, Etruscan graffito. From Orvieto.

Bilingual:one side red-figure, one side black-figure.

Side A: red-figure, Achilles and Ajax playing. The two heroes sit at a gaming table on which small disks (pessoi) are arranged. On the left is Achilles and on the right, Ajax. This identification is suggested by the earliest inscribed representation of the scene on an amphora by Exekias (Vatican 344; ABV, 145, no. 13). The game consisted of throwing dice and moving according to the cast. On this vase Achilles is preparing to move, while Ajax, who has just finished, indicates his score with his fingers. Both heroes wear black chitoniskoi, elaborately decorated cloaks, bronze corslets, greaves, and Corinthian helmets with crest overlapping into the palmette chain above. Each holds two javelins. Behind each, a shield. The gaming table is topped with a slab ending in volutes beneath which there is a band of egg pattern between two bands of dots.

Restored: the shields; parts of the stools; the back, shoulder, right calf, and foot of Achilles; the lower back of Ajax. The restorations are visible in the photographs.

Side B: black-figure, the same subject with minor differences in details. A simpler gaming table topped with a slab with torus molding. Ajax and Achilles sit on stools and are dressed in the same armor as on side A with the addition of cushes (thigh guards). Ajax has a short sword at his waist. Behind, shields with helmets above them. The device on Ajax's shield is a rosette between lions regardant.

Restored: the heads of both heroes, the device on Achilles' shield, part of Ajax's helmet.

Side A is framed above by a lotus-palmette chain; laterally, by a net pattern with two knots; and below, by lotus buds and dots. Side B is similarly framed above and below, but there are no lateral borders. On the handles, ivy; below the handles, hanging palmettes; at the base, rays. The ornament on both sides is probably by the Lysippides Painter.

Red, side A: beards, dots of the drapery, rectangles of stools, edges of shields, attachments for the helmets, the eight pessoi on the gaming table, the hearts of the palmettes, the cuffs of the lotuses. Side B: decoration of the drapery and armor, Achilles' beard, fillets, edges of helmets, plumes, shields, the twelve pessoi on the table, the line on the table. Line at the base of the scene, two lines around the vase below the framing ornament, line above the zone with rays, the fillet between base and foot, edges of the handles, upper edge of the lip.

White, side B: the lions on Ajax's shield.

Attributed to the Andokides Painter [Furtwängler] [Beazley at first attributed both sides to the Lysippides Painter; he later decided that only side B was by the Lysippides Painter, and side A was by the Andokides Painter (ABV, 254)] ca. 530 B.C.

The shape of this amphora is close to nine amphorae signed by Andokides as potter, and it is possible that the artist who painted the red-figure side of this vase, the Andokides Painter, is the same man. The Andokides Painter was one of the first to use the red-figure technique, and it is likely that he was its originator (von Bothmer 1966, 201-212). The red-figure technique is seen here in its early stages: there is more red and more incision than in the developed technique; the relief line work is imperfect, and contour bands are scarcely used (Caskey & Beazley, 3, p. 7). The detail is meticulous; note the tiny palmettes in the corners of the helmets. The vase has been placed stylistically in the middle period of the Andokides Painter's oeuvre, during the second decade of the sixth century (D. von Bothmer, BMMA [February, 1966] 212 and Caskey & Beazley, 3, p. 7). The Lysippides Painter, so called for a kalos or love name on a neck-amphora in London (London B 211), was a black-figure artist and a follower of Exekias. He collaborated with the Andokides Painter on six amphorae and one cup and was also a prominent black-figure artist in his own right.


Norton 1896, 40-41, figs. 15-16; Caskey 1922, 60-61; Richter 1926, fig. 122, p. 44; Fairbanks & Chase 1948, fig. 72; Rumpf 1953, 60-61, pl. 16, 1-2; ABV, 254, no. 2; Schauenburg 1961, 64-65, figs. 20-21; ARV2, 4, no. 7 and p. 1617; Caskey & Beazley, 3, p. 1-7; Richter 1966, fig. 259; Para., 113, 320.

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