Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta amphora (jar)

Attributed to a painter of Group E
ca. 550 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
H. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm) diameter 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1956
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 155
Obverse, warrior and inscription: two obols—and hands off
Reverse, man carrying a tripod

In addition to its elegant simplicity, this amphora has several features of great importance. The figure on the reverse is probably an athlete who is carrying off his prize, a bronze tripod. Greek literature provides numerous references to tripods as prizes and dedications. A representation such as this shows their scale and how such objects were carried. The inscription on the obverse permits different interpretations. An obol was a unit of weight and a coin.
Inscription: Inscribed: "two obols—and hands off"
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1957. "Greek Vases from the Hearst Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 15(7): pp. 166, 170.

Beazley, John D. 1971. Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters [2nd edition]. p. 55, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Avery, Catherine B. 1972[1962]. The New Century Handbook of Greek Art and Architecture. p. 20, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

von Bothmer, Dietrich and Alan L. Boegehold. 1985. The Amasis Painter and His World: Vase-Painting in Sixth-Century B.C. Athens. p. 31, fig. 18, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Cook, Brian. 1998[1987]. Greek Inscriptions. p. 53, fig. 47, London: Trustees of the British Museum.

Gebauer, Jörg. 2002. Pompe und Thysia: Attische Tieropferdarstellungen auf schwarz- und rotfigurigen Vasen. p. 93 n. 414, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.

Moore, Mary B. 2013. "Herakles Takes Aim: A Rare Attic Black-Figured Neck-Amphora Attributed to the Princeton Painter." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 48: p. 56, n. 74.

Lezzi-Hafter, Adrienne, Cécile Jubier-Galinier, Leslie Threatte, Jan-Matthias Müller, and Kristine Gex. 2016. Potters - Painters - Scribes : Inscriptions on Attic Vases, Rudolf Wachter, ed. p. 117, Zürich: Akanthus Verlag für Archäologie.

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