Hydria (water jar), ca. 360–330 b.c.; red–figure
Attributed to the Olcott Painter
Greek, South Italian, Campanian
Terracotta; H. 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1906 (06.1021.230)
One of the most striking features of South Italian vases in comparison to their Athenian counterparts is the particular enthusiasm for significant amounts of added colors such as white, yellow, orange, and various shades of red. On this hydria, added white has been used for the funerary statue, the tall base on which it stands, and the tall tendrils to either side that form a kind of arbor around her. Yellow is used for the hydria and three phialai (offering bowls) that have been left as grave offerings on the base. Enhancing these added colors was the gilding of the phiale held by the statue, traces of which are still visible. The statue is often interpreted as that of a bride, but it may also be a representation of Persephone, the consort of Hades and queen of the Underworld. Most funerary statues seen on South Italian vases are figures of male warriors or athletes, so this representation of a woman is quite extraordinary.