Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta hydria (water jar)

Attributed to the APZ Painter
Late Classical
ca. 330–300 B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Campanian
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 27 1/2 in. (69.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
Three women within a naiskos (shrine) between youths and women.
Under the handles, head of a woman

A recurring question in ancient funerary representations is which figures are alive and which deceased. On this vase, the critical difference between the individuals inside and outside the naiskos is that the ladies inside are painted white. Should they be interpreted as statues, despite their lifelike actions? Or does the white signify a change in substance though not in form brought about by death?
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1926. Ancient Furniture: A History of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Furniture. p. 43, fig. 120, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1944. Greek Painting: The Development of Pictoral Representation from Archaic to Graeco-Roman Times. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 117, 256, pl. 96g, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1966. The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. p. 138, fig. 653, London: Phaidon Press.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. 1980. Studien zur Polychromie der Plastik. p. 94, n. 206, Stockholm: Bokförlaget Svenska.

Mayo, Margaret Ellen and Kenneth Hamma. 1982. The Art of South Italy: Vases from Magna Graecia p. 38, fig. 1, Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Heuer, Keely Elizabeth. 2015. "Vases with Faces: Isolated Heads in South Italian Vase Painting." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 50: p. 73, figs. 23a, b.

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