Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta hydria (water jar)

Attributed to the Group of B.M. F 308
Late Classical
ca. 340–330 B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm)
diameter 17 3/4 in. (45.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Miss Matilda W. Bruce, 1907
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
The abduction of Persephone by Hades surrounded by gods

The myth of the abduction of Persephone was situated in Sicily. Hades’ chariot occupies the most prominent area of the vase. All around appear deities connected with the event—Zeus, Hades’ brother, whose sanction was needed; Aphrodite and Eros, abettors of Hades’ desire; Demeter, Persephone’s mother; torch-bearing Hecate; and Athena. The vegetation in the scene and the choice of a water jar as the shape emphasize the aspect of fertility in the story. Mythological subjects such as this commonly decorated funerary vases.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 117, 256, pl. 96f, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Schauenburg, Konrad. 1958. "Die Totengötter in der unteritalischen Vasenmalerei." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 73: pp. 58–59, 61, n. 66.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1964. Guide to the Collections: Greek and Roman Art. p. 24, fig. 32, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metzger, Henri. 1966. "L'imagerie de grande Grèce et les textes littéraires à l'époque classique." Convegno internazionale di studi sulla Magna Brecia, 6: pp. 176-77.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 88, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

Trendall, Arthur Dale and Alexander Cambitoglou. 1978. The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, Vol. 1. no. 66, p. 427, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Brommer, Frank. 1980. Göttersagen in Vasenlisten. p. 30, Marburg: N.G. Elwert.

Trendall, Arthur Dale. 1981. "A Campanian Lekanis in Lugano." Numismatica e antichità classiche, 10: p. 182, pl. 13.11.

Lindner, Ruth. 1984. Der Raub der Persephone in der antiken Kunst. no. 14, p. 21, pl. 10, Würzburg: K. Triltsch.

Schauenburg, Konrad. 1984. "Unterweltsbilder aus Grossgrichenland." Römische Mitteilungen, 91: pp, 259, 371, ns. 2, 97.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1984. Vol. 2: Aphrodisias-Athena. "Aphrodite," p. 131, no. 1380, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1986. Vol. 3: Atherion-Eros. Demeter, no. 316, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1988. Vol. 4: Eros-Herakles. "Hades," p. 384, no. 115pl. 219; "Hekate," no. 5, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Persephone, no. 190, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Foley, Helene, Lesley A. Beaumont, and H. Alan Shapiro. 2003. "Mothers and Daughters." Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, Jenifer Neils, John H. Oakley, and Katherine Hart, eds. p. 124, fig. 11, New Haven: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.

Stampolidis, Professor Nicholas Chr. and Stavroula Oikonomou. 2014. Beyond: Death and Afterlife in Ancient Greece. no. 66, p. 142, Athens: Museum of Cycladic Art.

Trendall, Arthur Dale. 2016. Myth, Drama and Style in South Italian Vase-Painting: Selected Papers by A.D. Trendall, Ian Mcphee, ed. pp. 25-6, fig. 15, Uppsala: Paul Aströms Förlag.

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