Terracotta neck-amphora of Panathenaic shape (jar), Attributed to the Princeton Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

Terracotta neck-amphora of Panathenaic shape (jar)

Attributed to the Princeton Painter
ca. 550–540 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
H. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
diameter of mouth 6 11/16 in. (17 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1953
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154
Obverse, Athena at altar, flautist, and woman
Reverse, seated man between 2 men and 2 women

This vase is of considerable importance, for although it is not an official prize amphora, the decoration on the obverse refers to numerous aspects of the Panathenaic festival. The image of Athena in the center is that of Athena Polias, the goddess of the Akropolis who invariably occupies the obverse of the Panathenaic prize vases. In front of her is a burning altar, and behind it a flute-player. The Panathenaic games included not only athletic but also musical competitions, to which this figure most probably refers. The woman on the right carries on her head a stiff horizontal object that seems to represent the peplos, the garment for Athena's image that was renewed every four years. It is about to be unfolded and draped on the statue.
The subject on the reverse is difficult to elucidate. The seated man is characterized as a god or king by his scepter. If he bears some relation to the depiction on the reverse, he may be Zeus awaiting the birth—from his head—of Athena.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1953. "A Panathenaic Amphora." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 12(2): pp. 52–56.

Beazley, John D. 1956. Attic Black-figure Vase-painters. p. 298, no. 5, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1984. Vol. 2: Aphrodisias-Athena. "Athena," p. 986, no. 337, pl. 742, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Nordquist, Gullög. 1992. "Instrumental Music in Representations of Greek Cult." The Iconography of Greek Cult in Archaic and Classical Periods: proceedings of the first International Seminar on Ancient Greek Cult, organised by the Swedish Institute at Athens and the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Delphi, 16-18 November 1990, Kernos, 1, Robin Hägg, ed. pp. 164-5, fig. 13, Athènes: Svenska Institutet i Athen.

Reeder, Ellen D., Sally Humphreys, Prof. Mary R. Lefkowitz, Francois Lissarrague, Prof. Margot Schmidt, Prof. H. Alan Shapiro, Christianne Sourvinou-Inwood, Prof. Andrew F. Stewart, Froma Zeitlin, Carol Benson, and Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway. 1995. "Women in Classical Greece." Pandora: Women in Classical Greece. p. 42, fig. 7, Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery.

De Cesare, Monica. 1997. Le statue in immagine: Studi sulle raffigurazioni di statue nella pittura vascolare greca, Studia archaeologica, Vol. 88. cat. no. 417, pp. 84, 165, Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider.

Miller, Margaret C. 1997. Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century B.C.: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. p. 175 n. 155, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Moore, Mary B. 2007. "The Princeton Painter in New York." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 42: pp. 8, 25–34, 37–38, 41–42, 45, figs. 14–15, pl. 1.

Kaltsas, Nikolaos and H. Alan Shapiro. 2008. Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens no. 117, p. 258, New York: The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), Inc.

Moore, Mary B. 2013. "Herakles Takes Aim: A Rare Attic Black-Figured Neck-Amphora Attributed to the Princeton Painter." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 48: pp. 48–50, 55 n. 60, fig. 22.