Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta stamnos (jar)

Attributed to the Menelaos Painter
ca. 450 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm)
diameter 11 7/8 in. (30.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 159
Obverse and reverse, maenads making music

Wine, women, and song are integrated here into an exceptionally rhythmical composition. The elongated women in fluidly pleated garments move slowly forward on the obverse and stand still on the reverse. Their instruments, drinking cups, torches, and thyrsoi (fennel stalks) introduce variety into a composition that might otherwise appear stiff. The quality of the music is conveyed more by the movement of the figures than by facial expressions.
Said to be from Capua

Richter, Gisela M. A., Marjorie J. Milne, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1922. Shapes of Greek Vases. New York.

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. pp. 8-9, fig. 67, New York: Plantin Press.

Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1958. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 4. no. 55, p. 1022, fig. 1213, Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 1077, 1682, no. 1 bottom, Add. 1, pp. 1077-78, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Kaltsas, Nikolaos and H. Alan Shapiro. 2008. Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens no. 129, pp. 282-83, New York: The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), Inc.

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