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Terracotta psykter (vase for cooling wine)

Attributed to Oltos

Period:
Archaic
Date:
ca. 520–510 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure
Dimensions:
H. 11 7/8 in. (30.20 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.281.69
  • Description

    Around the body, hoplites(foot soldiers) mounted on dolphins

    This procession of identically dressed foot soldiers seems to advance with military precision. A number of other dolphin-riding hoplites appear on vases of this period. All are accompanied by a flute player, suggesting that this scene illustrates a dramatic chorus, probably from a contemporary play. The six dolphins would have seemed to leap and dive as the psykter bobbed in the ice water inside a large krater.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed after each figure: EPIDELPHINOS, "upon the dolphin"

  • Provenance

    By 1961, on the art market, Geneva, Switzerland (Beazley 1961, p. 63); by 1965, collection of Norbert Schimmel; acquired October 26, 1989, gift of the Norbert Schimmel Trust.

  • References

    Greifenhagen, Adolf. 1974. "Red-Figured Psykter with Dolphin Riders by Oltos." Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection, Oscar White Muscarella, ed. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, no. 57 .

    Muscarella, Oscar White. 1974. Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, no. 57.

    Valavanis, Panos and Dimitris Kourkoumelis. 1996. Drinking Vessels. Athens: The Hatzimichalis Estate, pp. 72-73.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 106, pp. 100, 427.

    Lezzi-Hafter, Adrienne. 2009. "“Wheel without Chariot – A Motif in Attic Vase-Painting”." Athenian Potters and Painters, Vol. 2, John H. Oakley and Olga Palagia, eds. Oxford: Oxbow Books, p. 155 n 13.

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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