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New Orleans 16.38

Attic Black-Figure Amphora Collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Gift of Alvin P. Howard (16.38, formerly 2033) Attributed to the Bucci Painter (Name Vase) Ca. 530 B.C. Height: 34.9 cm. Diameter: 23.3 cm. Side A: Herakles and Hermes. Side B: Horseman and companions.

On side A, Herakles and Hermes stand on either side on a low rectangular altar. Herakles wears his lion skin over a short chiton. He customarily wears the animal's head pulled over his own, as here, like a hood, and the forepaws tied across his chest. A rear leg and the tail hang down low, below the hero's knees. He carries his club and wears a sword in its scabbard, hanging from a baldric. Hermes wears a striped chlamys draped over his left shoulder, winged shoes, and a cap, and carries the kerykeion. Hero and god gesture to each other with upraised left hand, probably a leave-taking, since Hermes moves off to the right while looking back. Perhaps the two have just performed a sacrifice.

The figures are framed by two slender Doric columns, reminiscent of those seen on Panathenaic amphoras. On the left hand column perches a cock, as on most Panathenaics, and on the right hand column an owl, which also occurs, though rarely (compare the Panathaic amphora in Austin [Austin 1980.32], with owls on both columns). Nothing else about the vase suggests a Panathenaic context, and another vase probably by the same painter also has 'Panathenaic' columns; perhaps he simply borrowed them as a decorative element.

On side B, a horseman is mounted between four standing male companions. The horse is seen frontally, a relatively infrequent view, but with its head, as well as the rider's, in profile. The two figures at the right are both bearded and carry spears; those at left are beardless and unarmed, though one carries a staff. The scene probably shows a young warrior setting out. It may be mythological - a Trojan hero, perhaps - but need not be.

This New Orleans amphora is the name vase of the Bucci painter, so named by Dietrich von Bothmer for Donato Bucci of Civitavecchia, in whose collection it once was. At least fifteen vases have been attributed to him, and he is related in style both to the circle of the Antimenes Painter and to the red-figure Andokides Painter.


Bibliography

ABV, 315, 5; Annali dell' Instituto di Corrispondenza Archaeologica 1836, pl.F; Gerhard 1843,pl. A, 19; von Bothmer 1953a, ii 135 and pl. 47. b-d; Schauenburg 1979, 69, fig. 18.

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