Terracotta loutrophoros (ceremonial vase for water)
Attributed to the Metope Painter
3rd quarter of the 4th century B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
34 3/4 in. (88.3 cm)
Purchase, The Bernard and Audrey Aronson Charitable Trust Gift, in memory of her beloved husband, Bernard Aronson, 1995
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 160
On the body, obverse, woman with attendant in naiskos (shrine) flanked by youth and women Reverse, woman in naiskos flanked by youths and women On the shoulder, obverse, Eros with alabastron and mirror within foliage Reverse, head of a woman within foliage
This imposing and beautifully executed vase, together with its counterpart exhibited here, is of exceptional interest for the architectural structure on the obverse. A small naiskos, rendered with three columns, encloses a woman, her maid who holds out a small casket, and a metal loutrophoros. Between the level on which they stand and the podium for the shrine are two panels with a pair of confronted lions. The podium itself consists of an upper frieze of triglyphs, alternating with metopes showing Greeks fighting Amazons. The lower element is covered with tendrils enclosing a female head. Although naiskoi are common on Apulian vases, the complexity and elaboration here are unusual. The unresolved question is to what extent the representation reflects actual funerary structures and the limestone reliefs familiar especially from Tarentum.
Trendall, Arthur Dale and Alexander Cambitoglou. 1983. First Supplement to the Red-Figured Vases of Apulia. pp. 70-72, pl. 9, London: Institute Of Classical Studies.
Trendall, Arthur Dale. 1989. Red Figure Vases of South Italy and Sicily. p. 85, fig. 181, New York: Thames and Hudson Inc.
Sotheby's, New York. 1994. Important Classical, Egyptian, and Western Asiatic Antiquities and Islamic Works of Art. December 14, 1994. lot 97.
Mertens, Joan R., Dr. 1995. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1994-1995." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 53(2): p. 12.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1995. "One Hundred Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1994 through June 30, 1995." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 125: p. 16.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 169, pp. 150, 436-37, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Marconi, Clemente. 2011. "The birth of an image: The painting of a statue of Herakles and theories of representation in ancient Greek culture." Res: Anthopology and Aesthetics, 59/60: p. 165, fig. 18.