Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B13
Neck Amphora by the Harrow Painter
ca. 480 B.C.
B 13. Baltimore Society AIA, formerly Hartwig Collection. "Tarentum."
Ht, 39 cm; diam mouth, 16.1 cm; diam foot, 11 cm. Mended from many pieces, with
handles and most of rim restored in plaster. Foot is ancient but may not belong.
Alien lid with which vase was first published is now at the University of
Scenes on both sides are unframed, with figures standing on narrow
bands as groundlines.
Silenos strides forward in right profile, hands bound behind back.
Following him is a bearded hunter who looks back, head in left profile. Hunter
wears boots, short chiton that has a black border at neckline and hem, and
petasos hanging behind neck. Right hand holds two spears; left hand hold ends of
the thongs that wrap Silenos's wrists. To the hunter's left is hunting dog.
Relief contour line throughout. Relief line for drapery detail, top
of boots, thongs. Hair outlined in reserve. Dilute glaze for inner details of
body, neck and sleeve of chiton. Added purple for petasos cord, thongs of
Bearded Midas stands three-quarters left, face in left profile. He
wears a pleated chiton beneath himation, carries staff in upraised right hand.
Some relief contours. Hair and beard outlined in reserve. Dilute glaze for inner
details of chiton.
Tongues above each picture, terminating beneath handles. Graffito on
When Dionysos was passing through Asia Minor, Silenos, a human-equine
member of the entourage, wandered away and was captured by a hunter who brought
the captive to King Midas.1
The king returned Silenos to Dionysos, and the grateful deity agreed as
a reward to grant Midas's wish that everything he touched be turned to gold.
Midas soon discovered, however, that all food and drink became golden, too, and
thus he appealed to Dionysos to remove the magic touch. The god instructed Midas to
wash in the river Pactolus, which henceforth became renowned for its
This adventure of Midas was first seen on Chiote and Spartan vases of
the mid-sixth century.2
Around the year 500 B.C. the subject appeared in Attic vase-painting,
where it remained popular for the next one hundred fifty years.3
Artists depicted several different moments in the tale, including the
capture of Silenos in Midas's garden, his abduction to King Midas, and his
presentation before the king. Not before the fifth century do we find Midas
depicted in oriental dress,4
and after 450 B.C. he wears the ass ears that he acquired by unwisely
voting against Apollo in a musical competition.5
The Harrow Painter is known for almost one hundred large vases, of
which half are amphorae and column kraters.6
The profile of the body of the Baltimore example compares most closely
with those of the artist's neck amphorae with twisted handles, and for this
reason twisted handles have been restored on our vessel.7
The Harrow Painter was most comfortable with genre subjects, but on
his amphorae he occasionally turned to mythological and especially Dionysiac
themes. His style was inspired primarily by that of the Berlin Painter, whose
influence is apparent in the use of one or two quietly standing figures on each
side of the amphora, and in the tendency to distribute figures from a single
scene on both sides of the vase. The Harrow Painter falls short of the Berlin
Painter, however, both in draughtsmanship and in the ability to endow a scene
with emotional content. Our painter also has a tendency to repeat his figures,
especially the older man draped in a mantle.8
The graffito on the shoulder of the vessel was applied after the vase
was fired. Although most graffiti are thought to carry a commercial meaning, the
unusual position of this mark may denote ownership or dedication.9
The lettering is Etruscan or possibly Oscan.10
FR, 252, no. 3
; J. D. Beazley, JHS 36 (1916):133, no. 30
; Beazley 1918, 56
; Hoppin 1919, vol. II, 3, no. 3
; Beazley 1925, 120, no. 40
; CVA, USA fasc. 6, Robinson fasc. 2, 25, pls. XXIX,
; Brommer 1941, 40, no. 4, and
44, fig. 6
; Ancient Art in American Private Collections
(Cambridge, 1954), no. 278, pl. LXXXIII
; ARV2, 73, no. 22
; Brommer 1973, 535, no. B4