Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta amphora (jar)

Attributed to The Horse-Head Amphorae
ca. 600 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
H. 22 11/16 in. (57.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1922
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Obverse and reverse, head of a horse

The so-called Horse-Head amphorae were produced during the first half of the sixth century B.C., especially the early part. With few exceptions, the subject of the front and back is a horse's head and neck. While the precise significance is unclear, the reference is clearly to the horse as a symbol of status and wealth. The vases vary in size and were widely exported in antiquity, to Italy, the eastern Mediterranean, and Egypt. Their function would have varied as well. Because of its size and the signs of wear, this example may have stood on a grave.
Said to be from Anavyssos, Attica

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1923. "Early Greek Vases." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 18(7): p. 178.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1928. "Recent Accessions of Athenian Vases." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 23(4): p. 112.

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. pp. 3-4, fig. 1, New York: Plantin Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1942. "Terracotta Plaques from Early Attic Tombs." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 1(1): p. 82 n. 11.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 40, 186, pl. 3c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1956. Attic Black-figure Vase-painters. p. 16, no. 4, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Beazley, John D. 1971. Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters [2nd edition]. p. 9, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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