Terracotta stirrup jar with octopus

Helladic, Mycenaean

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 151

A stylized octopus flanked by fish covers each side of this stirrup jar, named for the shape of its handles. Mycenaean pottery often reflects Minoan-inspired themes and techniques that originated on the island of Crete. Animated marine motifs adopted from Minoan art began to appear on Mycenaean vessels in about 1500 BCE and were initially rendered in a very naturalistic manner. Here, the symmetrical composition and abstract depiction of the sea creatures are characteristically Mycenaean.

Such jars were commonly used to transport liquids.

#1003. Terracotta Stirrup Jar with Octopus

Terracotta stirrup jar with octopus, Terracotta, Helladic, Mycenaean

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