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Williams 19.1.2


Lent by the Williams College Museum of Art; gift of Anna Stetson (1919 CG 42)

Height: 9 5/16 in. (23.5 cm.)

Broken and repaired at base and lip; some restoration on lip.

Nuptial chariot. The bridal couple stand in a four-horse chariot. Before them are a goddess (perhaps Artemis) with torches, Dionysos with drinking horn and ivy wreath, and Hermes in chlamys and winged boots with the tip of his caduceus running over the lateral frame. Meaningless inscription above. Around the neck, a double row of ivy between ridges; below, tongues; lateral frames, two rows of large dots between lines at the base of the scene; two red lines circling the vase.

Red: fillet and beard of the groom; wreath, beard, tip of the drinking horn of Dionysos; fillet of Artemis; edges and folds of the drapery; the winged boots of Hermes; parts of the chariot; the tails, manes, and bridles of the horses; the flames of the torch; the inscription.White: female flesh.

Unattributed ca. 500 - 475 B. C.

As has been indicated by Joan Mertens, this vase belongs in the class of Vatican G 47. A vase in the Louvre (Louvre F 345; ABV, 429, no. 2) is close to it. We know from literary sources that wedding processions took place at night, hence the torches, generally carried by the mother of the bride (von Bothmer 1960, no. 2, p. 71 ff; on weddings see W. Erdmann, Die Ehe im alten Griechenland, Münchner Beiträge zur Papyrusforschung und antiken Rechtsgeschichte, Heft 20 [Munich 1934]). The presence of two readily identifiable gods, Dionysos and Hermes, suggests a mythological subject, probably the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, one of the few mortal weddings the gods attended.


Gerhard 1840-1858, 85, pl. 312, 1 and 3.

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