Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta amphoriskos (flask) in the form of a bird-man

late 5th century B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-glaze
Overall: 7 x 3 1/4 in. (17.8 x 8.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Christos G. Bastis Gift, 1999
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
This extraordinary vase of a bird-man, of high technical quality, is unique among the examples of Attic black-glazed pottery known today. It almost certainly relates to Aristophanes' well-known comedy The Birds (first produced in 415/414 B.C.) and may represent the costume that would have been worn by members of the chorus in the fifth century B.C.
Lezzi-Hafter, Adrienne. 1974. Das Tier in der Antike: 400 Werke ägyptischer, griechischer, etruskischer und römischer Kunst aus privatem und öffentilchem Besitz, H. Bloesch, ed. no. 285, p. 47, pl. 47, Zürich: Archäologisches Institut der Universität Zürich, Switzerland.

Cahn Auktionen AG. 1998. Auktion 1: Kunstwerke der Antike : Drei Privatsammlungen und weiterer Besitz : Griechische, Etruskische, Römische und Ägyptische Kunstwerke : Ausstellung: 11.-14. Juni 1998, Auktion: 15. Juni 1998, im grossen Salon des Nations des Hotel Hilton Basel. no. 40, p. 21, pl. 16.

Picón, Carlos A. 1999. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1998-1999." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 57(2): pp. 8–9.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1999. "One Hundred Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 129: p. 17.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 138, pp. 125, 432, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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