Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze hydria (water jar)

4th century B.C.
H. 19 3/4 in. (50.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1944
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 158
The elegant ovoid shape of this vase and the inclusion of a figural relief under the vertical handle are found on most bronze hydriae of the fourth century B.C. Here the decoration is particularly refined. Inlays of silver and niello (a black alloy of sulfur, silver, copper, and lead) animated the egg-and-dart band on the lip and the leaves on the foot. The relief shows a winged Eros arranging his hair in a mirror. He leans on a small statue of a woman. It imitates the rigid stance and stiff drapery found on Archaic figures of the sixth century B.C. The support forms an interesting contrast to the figure of Eros, which reflects the taste for somewhat effeminate male figures in curvacious, languid poses that marked full-scale sculpture of the period.
Said to be from Eretria on the island of Euboea

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. "A Greek Bronze Vase." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 4(7): pp. 184–89.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 110, 157, 250, pls. 90a, c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1955. "Bronze Hydriai." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 13(6): pp. 198–99.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. p. 400, Cambridge, England.

Andrioménou, Anghéliki. 1975. "Vases et lampes de bronze dans des collections privées d'Athènes." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 99(1): p. 544 n. 23.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 65, pl. 16, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

von Bothmer, Dietrich and Joan R. Mertens. 1982. The Search for Alexander: Supplement to the Catalogue. no. S50, p. 14, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1984. Vol. 2: Aphrodisias-Athena. "Aphrodite," p. 13, no. 40, pl. 7, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1986. Vol. 3: Atherion-Eros. "Eros," p. 863, no. 85, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

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