Terracotta psykter (vase for cooling wine), Attributed to Oltos, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

Terracotta psykter (vase for cooling wine)

Attributed to Oltos
ca. 520–510 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 11 7/8 in. (30.20 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154
Around the body, hoplites(foot soldiers) mounted on dolphins

This procession of identically dressed foot soldiers seems to advance with military precision. A number of other dolphin-riding hoplites appear on vases of this period. All are accompanied by a flute player, suggesting that this scene illustrates a dramatic chorus, probably from a contemporary play. The six dolphins would have seemed to leap and dive as the psykter bobbed in the ice water inside a large krater.
#1016. Terracotta psykter (vase for cooling wine)
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Inscription: Inscribed after each figure: EPIDELPHINOS, "upon the dolphin"
By 1961, on the art market, Geneva, Switzerland (Beazley 1961, p. 63); by 1965, collection of Norbert Schimmel; acquired October 26, 1989, gift of the Norbert Schimmel Trust.
Beazley, John D. 1961. "An Amphora by the Berlin Painter." Antike Kunst, 4(2): p. 63.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 1622-3, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Greifenhagen, Adolf. 1965. "Delphinreiter auf einem Psykter des Oltos." Pantheon, 23: pp. 1-7, figs. 1-7.

Muscarella, Oscar White. 1974. Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection no. 57, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Greifenhagen, Adolf. 1974. "Red-Figured Psykter with Dolphin Riders by Oltos." Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection, Oscar White Muscarella, ed. no. 57 , Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. 1978. Von Troja bis Amarna: the Norbert Schimmel Collection, New York, Jürgen Settgast, ed. no. 76, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 1992. "Ancient Art: Gifts from The Norbert Schimmel Collection: Greek and Roman." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 49(4): p. 46.

Valavanis, Panos and Dimitris Kourkoumelis. 1996. Drinking Vessels. pp. 72-73, Athens: The Hatzimichalis Estate.

Mastrodonato, Valentina. 1999-2000. "Una residenza imperiale nel suburbio di Roma: la villa di Lucio Vero in località Acquatraversa." Archeologia Classica, 51: pp. 261, 263, fig. 24.

Steinhart, Matthias. 2004. Die Kunst der Nachahmung : Darstellungen mimetischer Vorführungen in der greiechischen Bildkunst archaischer und klassischer Zeit. pl. 8, 2, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome. no. 106, pp. 100, 427, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lezzi-Hafter, Adrienne. 2009. "Wheel without Chariot – A Motif in Attic Vase-Painting." Athenian Potters and Painters, Vol. 2, John H. Oakley and Olga Palagia, eds. p. 155 n 13, Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Hart, Mary Louise. 2010. "Choral Dance in Archaic Athens." The Art of Ancient Greek Theater. p. 25, pl. 9, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Caltabiano, Maria Caccamo. 2012. "Dea e Nymphe. L'ideologia della Personificazione della Città nell'Iconografia Monetale." IIl significato delle immagini : numismatica, arte, filologia, storia : atti del secondo incontro internazionale di studio del "Lexicon Iconographicum Numismaticae" (Genova, 10-12 novembre 2005), Serta Antiqua et Mediaevalia XIV. Scienze documentarie II, Rossella Pera, ed. p. 32, pl. 2d ii, Rome: Università degli Studi di Genova.