Terracotta amphora (jar)

Attributed to the Berlin Painter

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157

Obverse, young man singing and playing the kithara
Reverse, judge

This work is a masterpiece of Greek vase-painting because it brings together many features of Athenian culture in an artistic expression of the highest quality. The shape itself is central to the effect. Through the symmetry, scale, and luminously glossy glaze on the obverse, it offers a carefully composed three-dimensional surface that endows the subject with volume. The identity of the singer is given by his instrument, the kithara, which was a type of lyre used in public performances, including recitations of epic poetry. The figure on the reverse is identified by his garb and wand. While the situation is probably a competition, the subject is the music itself. It transports the performer, determines his pose, and causes the cloth below the instrument to sway gently.

#830. Terracotta amphora (jar), Part 1



  1. 830. Terracotta amphora (jar), Part 1
  2. 882. Terracotta amphora (jar), Part 2
Terracotta amphora (jar), Attributed to the Berlin Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.