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Mount Holyoke 1929.BS.II.4


Lent by Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (1929 BS II.4)

Height: 13 in. (33 cm.)

Broken and repaired; some restoration and repainting in drapery. Under foot, graffito. Said to be from Volterra.

Side A: goddess and woman (Hera and Hebe?). On the left, a woman, possibly Hebe, the cup bearer of the gods. She wears a himation over her chiton and extends her right hand with an oinochoe. On the right, a goddess, possibly Hera, with lotus-tipped scepter and phiale. She wears a himation, chiton, and diadem.

Side B: king (Zeus?). A bearded man wearing a himation stands to right holding a lotus-tipped scepter.

On A, a strip of meander pairs alternating with saltires; on B, a strip of simple rightward key.

Attributed to Polygnotos [Beazley] ca. 450 - 440 B. C.

The style of Polygnotos is ultimately derived from that of the Niobid Painter (cf. Mount Holyoke 1932.BS.II.5), but it has much that is new in it: the lines are longer and more fluid, the figures softer and fleshier, the whole drawing broader and less archaic (Beazley 1918, 171). The figures on this vase have a certain nobility but are very schematized, and our identification is uncertain. The name of Polygnotos is known from his signature on five vases. Two other artists contemporary with him sign with the same name, and as Beazley suggests, all three may have taken the name from the famous mural painter, Polygnotos of Thasos (ARV2, 1027). The school of Polygnotos was large; the Christie Painter (Harvard 1970.108) was one of his most able associates.


ARV2, 1031, no. 44.

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