Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta Hadra hydria (water jar)

Period:
Hellenistic
Date:
late 3rd century B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Ptolemaic, Alexandrian
Medium:
Terracotta; white-ground
Dimensions:
h. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm); d. 10 in. (25 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1890
Accession Number:
90.9.54
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Faint traces of an elaborate helmet with a griffin crest, a shield bearing the snakey head of Medusa, and a cuirass, are evident on this white-ground hydria. A warrior's armor was a common subject for vases destined for burial, since it alluded to the both the heroic character of the deceased, as well as the manner of death. Sites in Alexandria have yielded hydriai with similar motifs in much better states of preservation, thus providing an idea of the original appearence of this vase.
Merriam, Augustus C. 1885. "Inscribed sepulchral vases from Alexandria." American Journal of Archaeology, 1 (1): p. 19.

Merriam, Augustus C. 1887. "Painted Sepulchral Stelai from Alexandria." American Journal of Archaeology, 3 (3/4): p. 268.

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