Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta neck-amphora (jar)

Attributed to the Niobid Painter
ca. 460–450 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) diameter 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase by subscription, 1899
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Obverse, Dionysos and maenads at altar;
Reverse, libation scene: king and women

The Niobid Painter takes advantage of the large shape to depict solemn, imposing offering scenes. On the obverse, Dionysos, god of wine, stands at an altar with a kantharos (drinking cup with high handles) as the maenad opposite him holds an oinochoe (jug); interestingly, the vase is glazed black to be more visible. On the reverse, a man whose status is indicated by his scepter and fillet holds a phiale (libation bowl) that is being filled by a woman pouring from an oinochoe (jug).
Found at Capua in 1868 in the so-called Brygos Tomb

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. pp. 3-4, fig. 21, New York: Plantin Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 85, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 605, no. 61, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Johnson, Hugh. 1985. "A Gift of the Gods." Wine: Celebration and Ceremony, Hugh Johnson, ed. p. 13, New York: Smithsonian Institution.

Williams, Dyfri. 1992. "The Brygos Tomb Reassembled and 19th-Century Commerce in Capuan Antiquities." American Journal of Archaeology, 96(4): p. 621 n. 33.

Gebauer, Jörg. 2002. Pompe und Thysia: Attische Tieropferdarstellungen auf schwarz- und rotfigurigen Vasen. p. 379 n. 1473, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.

Kaltsas, Nikolaos and H. Alan Shapiro. 2008. Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens no. 128, pp. 280-81, New York: The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), Inc.

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