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Terracotta hydria: kalpis (water jar)

Attributed to the Berlin Painter
Period:
Late Archaic
Date:
ca. 490 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure
Dimensions:
H. 14 5/16 in. (36.4 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Whitridge Gift, 1965
Accession Number:
65.11.12
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157
Ajax and Achilles gaming

About 540 B.C. Exekias invented the representation of Achilles and Ajax passing the time during the siege of Troy by playing a board game. The original is preserved in the Vatican Museums. The subject remained popular into the fifth century B.C. The warriors are evenly matched. They hold their spears and shields as they play. The artist's concern seems less to characterize them than to dispose an interesting, symmetrical composition on the shoulder of the kalpis.
Moore, Mary B. 1980. "Exekias and Telamonian Ajax." American Journal of Archaeology, 84(4): p. 421 n. 33.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981. Aara-Aphlad, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 1. Achilleus, no. 425, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Cohen, Beth. 1991. "Perikles' Portrait." Hesperia, 60(4): pp. 490-1 fn. 113, pl. 123 b.

Hedreen, Guy Michael. 2001. Capturing Troy: The Narrative Functions of Landscape in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Art. p. 102 n. 42, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

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