Attic Black-Figure Hydria
The Karithaios Painter
ca. 530-520 B.C.
Lent by The Toledo Museum of Art; gift of Edward Drummond Libbey
(50.261). Ex collections Lucien Bonaparte, Prince de Canino, and Vicomte de
Janze; from Vulci.
H. to top of handle 47.0
cm; H. to rim 45.6 cm; D. of rim 23.2 cm; D. of shoulder 29.5 cm; D. of foot
15.5 cm. Vertical handle and fragment of lip broken and repaired; small area of
loss in the field above the second and third horses' heads and in the field
behind the horses' legs; much of the black glaze has fired olive green.
A chariot turning. The car and the
wheels of the chariot are shown frontally, while the bodies of the four horses
are in profile, facing right. The charioteer on the left, in the chariot, and
the warrior also face right. The heads of the trace-horses are in profile, those
of the pole-horses frontal and side by side, their necks turned inward. In front
of the horses, on the far right of the scene, is another warrior, on foot,
moving right, but looking back left. The charioteer wears a long robe which is
belted with tie-strings that cross in front and pass over each shoulder. He
holds the reins and a pair of goads in his right hand; his left hand is not
visible. A Boeotian shield hangs from his back. He leans slightly forward,
gazing intently, as he maneuvers the chariot through its turn. The warrior
riding with him wears a high-crested Corinthian helmet and also gazes intently.
The warrior on foot wears a high-crested Corinthian helmet, a corslet, a baldric
from which a scabbard is suspended, a short chiton and greaves. He carries a
pair of spears and a circular shield, its device a tripod. The warriors are
bearded, the charioteer is not. Added red:
charioteer's tie-strings, belt and shield border; the upper border and the tail
of the helmet-crest of the warrior on foot, the borders of his shield and
greaves, and the dots on the skirt of his chiton; the manes and breast-bands of
all four horses, the tails of three of them, and part of the chariot. Added white:
The charioteer's robe; the
baldric of the warrior on foot, his shield device, a row of dots on the inner
edge of his helmet-crest, the collar of his chiton and two rows of dots framing
an incised pattern on its skirt; the teeth of the trace-horses and patches on
the heads of the pole-horses.
Herakles and Cerberus.
Herakles (second from right) moves right and looks back at Cerberus whom he
leads on a leash. He holds the leash in his right hand and brandishes a club
with his left. He wears a baldric over his right shoulder, a sword at his right
side and a quiver at his left. Athena, at the far right, stands facing Herakles,
her right hand raised; in her left hand she holds a spear pointed downward.
Hermes (third from the left) stands behind Cerberus, his left arm raised, the
kerykeion in his right. Persephone stands behind Hermes, her left hand raised.
Her right arm is bent at the elbow; the fingers of her extended right hand point
downward. Behind her, at the far left, stands Pluto. He holds a staff in his
left hand; his right arm and hand are muffled in his himation. Added red:
Folds in the garments of Pluto, Persephone,
Hermes and Athena; the beards of Pluto, Hermes and Herakles; the upper edge of
Athena's helmet-crest; dots on the skirt of Herakles' chiton, on the flaps of
his quiver and on the ruff of the lion skin; Cerberus' collar. Added white:
The flesh of Persephone and Athena; alternate
locks of hair on Cerberus' mane; the teeth of the lion skin; the hilt of
Herakles' sword, the chape of its scabbard and baldric; dots on Athena's
Between upright palmettes
(left to right), a boar, a lion and a boar. The boars face inward, the lion
faces right. Added red:
The shoulders of both
boars and a stroke on the rump of the boar on the left; the lion's tongue and
dots on its shoulder; the cores of the palmettes.
A band of black tongues appears around the upper side of the mouth
(see below). A band of alternating black and red tongues appears at the base of
the neck. The lateral borders of the main scene are double rows of ivy leaves.
There are two red lines below the predella and rays around the base. The base
fillet is painted with added red.
The attribution to the Karithaios Painter was made by Dietrich von
Bothmer (cf. ABV, 161
). The chariot
wheeling round was a popular subject in Attic black-figure during the latter
half of the sixth century B.C. The Toledo hydria may reveal some influence of
the Lysippides Painter; cf. B. Schlö
rb-Vierneisel, AthMitt 81 (1966) 261 and
, and I. K.
Raubitschek, The Hearst Hillsborough Vases
(Mainz 1969) 43-44
Decoration on the upper side of the mouth, as here, is unusual and is
known on only four other hydriai. The tongue-pattern on the upper side of the
mouth appears on a hydria in Lyons related to the Antimenes Painter (ABV, 280, no. 3
; Studies Presented to David Moore
Robinson ii [St. Louis 1953] pl. 17
); on another hydria
in Vulci (ArchCl 23  111-112 and pl. 36
); and also, as Prof.
Moon informs me, on a hydria by the Antimenes Painter in Omaha, Nebraska (Omaha 44.153
The fourth hydria with decoration on the upper side of the mouth is
in Minneapolis (Para., 119, no. 8
; Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin 51, i
[March, 1962] p. 10
). Unlike the tongue-pattern on the other three,
the Minneapolis hydria has a picture, a chariot race on the upper side of the
mouth, and is attributed to the Antimenes Painter.1
Dubois, Notice d'une collection des vases antiques en terrecuite provenant
des fouilles faites en Etrurie par feu M. le Prince de Canino,
Paris. 4 avril 1843. lot no. 86
; Collection de M. le vicomte de
Janze, Vente Hötel Drouot. 16 avril 1866
; Art Digest 25
(May 15, 1951) 12
; AJA 58 (1954) 64
; Brommer 1956, 53, no. 54
; Brommer 1960, 73, no. 54
; Washington 1962, 80
; Riefstahl 1968, 36
; Brommer 1973, 93, no. 12
; CVA, USA 17, Toledo 1, pp. 14-15, pl. 20,2 and
Kurt T. Luckner, The Toledo Museum of Art