Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta neck-amphora (jar)

Attributed to the Niobid Painter
ca. 460–450 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) diameter 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase by subscription, 1899
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Obverse, Dionysos and maenads
Reverse, king and two women

The Niobid Painter takes advantage of the large shape to depict solemn, imposing offering scenes. On the obverse, Dionysos, god of wine, stands at an altar with a kantharos (drinking cup with high handles) as the maenad opposite him holds an oinochoe (jug); interestingly, the vase is glazed black to be more visible. On the reverse, a man whose status is indicated by his scepter and fillet holds a phiale (libation bowl) that is being filled by a woman pouring from an oinochoe.
Found at Capua in 1868 in the so-called Brygos Tomb

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. pp. 3-4, fig. 21, New York: Plantin Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 85, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 605, no. 61, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Johnson, Hugh. 1985. "A Gift of the Gods." Wine: Celebration and Ceremony, Hugh Johnson, ed. p. 13, New York: Smithsonian Institution.

Williams, Dyfri. 1992. "The Brygos Tomb Reassembled and 19th-Century Commerce in Capuan Antiquities." American Journal of Archaeology, 96(4): p. 621 n. 33.

Gebauer, Jörg. 2002. Pompe und Thysia: Attische Tieropferdarstellungen auf schwarz- und rotfigurigen Vasen. p. 379 n. 1473, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.

Kaltsas, Nikolaos and H. Alan Shapiro. 2008. Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens no. 128, pp. 280-81, New York: The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), Inc.

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