Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta amphora (jar)

Signed by Taleides as potter
Attributed to the Taleides Painter
ca. 540–530 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
H. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1947
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 155
Obverse, Theseus slaying the Minotaur
Reverse, men weighing merchandise

Discovered at Agrigento in Sicily before 1801, this may be the first Greek vase with a potter's signature to have been published in modern Europe. Besides the signature, there is an inscription praising a youth, Klitarchos, as handsome. After Herakles, Theseus is the major hero in Athenian iconography. He was credited with uniting the principalities of Attica and with numerous exploits. Here he kills the Minotaur (part-man, part-bull) in the palace of King Minos on Crete. The reverse shows a large scale with containers on each pan and a man bringing them into balance.
Signature: Signed by Taleides as potter

Inscription: Inscribed: "Taleides epoiesen" "Klitarchos kalos"
von Bothmer, Dietrich and Marjorie J. Milne. 1947. "The Taleides Amphora." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 5(9): pp. 221-8.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 57, 199, pl. 39b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1956. Attic Black-figure Vase-painters. pp. 174, 669, 688, no. 1, 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. 72, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Forsyth, William Holmes and The International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art. 1974. "Acquisitions from the Brummer Gallery." The Grand Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sixth International Exhibition presented by C.I.N.O.A.. p. 2, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 31, pl. 4, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 83, pp. 82, 421, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mertens, Joan R. 2010. How to Read Greek Vases. no. 10, pp. 13, 24, 66-70, 82, 88, 98, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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