The infant Herakles strangling snakes sent by the goddess Hera
Herakles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, was one of twins conceived in a night when Alkmene, the wife of Amphitryon, was visited by both her husband and the god Zeus. Angered by his infidelity, Zeus's wife, Hera, tried to kill the infant Herakles with snakes. Here the child strangles them in the presence of his parents and Athena, his protective goddess.
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Title:Terracotta hydria: kalpis (water jar)
Artist:Attributed to the Nausicaä Painter
Date:ca. 460–450 BCE
Dimensions:H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm) diameter without handles 11 5/16 in. (28.7 cm)
Credit Line:Fletcher Fund, 1925
Found in tomb in Santa Maria di Capua Vetere (Caserta, Campania) in 1880 (Notizie degli Scavi 1881, p. 373)
1880, excavated from a tomb in Capua by Sig. Auriemma; until 1884, collection of Alessandro Castellani, Rome; [until late 1890s, with Rollin and Feuardent, Paris]; late 1890s, purchased by Thomas B. Clarke from Henri de Morgan (representative of Rollin and Feuardent); late 1890s-1925, collection of Thomas B. Clarke, New York; acquired in January 1925, purchased at the T.B. Clarke collection sale at the American Art Association, New York.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1925. "Athenian Red-Figured Vases." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20(5): p. 130, fig. 6.
Richter, Gisela M. A. and Lindsley F. Hall. 1936. Red-Figured Athenian Vases in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 71, pp. 98–100, pls. 74, 172, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1938. "Notes: Amphitryon." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 33(1): pp. 27–28.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 84, 225, pl. 65c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Beazley, John D. 1963. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 1110, no. 41, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1981. Vol. 1: Aara-Aphlad. "Alkmene," p. 554, no. 11; "Amphityron," p. 736, no. 7, pl. 414, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
Boardman, John. 1989. Athenian Red Figure Vases: The Classical Period, a Handbook. fig. 196, London: Thames and Hudson.
Cook, Brian. 1989. "Footwork in Ancient Greek Swordsmanship." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 24: pp. 57–58, fig. 1.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1990. Vol. 5: Herakles-Kenchrias. "Iphikles," p. 735, no. 6, pl. 482, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
Shapiro, H.A. 1994. Myth into Art: Poet and Painter in Classical Greece. pp. 107, 109, fig. 75, London: Routledge.
Mannack, Thomas. 2001. The Late Mannerists in Athenian Vase Painting. cat. N.41, p. 140, pl. 3, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Neils, Jenifer, John H. Oakley, and Katherine Hart. 2003. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past no. 10, pp. 70, 272, New Haven: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.
Mertens, Joan R. 2010. How to Read Greek Vases. no. 24, pp. 103, 121–3, 150, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Hemingway, Seán. 2021. How to Read Greek Sculpture. p. 78, fig. 35, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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