Wall painting

Greek, South Italian, Lucanian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162

Return of a mounted warrior

In Southern Italy, particularly around Tarentum in the east and Naples in the west, painted chamber tombs were quite common. The closest parallels for this tomb painting are from Paestum. Allowing for differences in scale and technique, the iconography here has much in common with that of the vases. The wreath, foliage, and pomegranates in the upper part of the painting allude to glory and regeneration. The main scene shows a young warrior in Italic armor returning home. As on the hydria 01.8.12 he carries his spears over his shoulder. Welcoming him is a woman with an oinochoe (jug) and skyphos (deep drinking cup), essential for an offering. The medium of painting on plaster permits a fluid handling of line and color not possible in ceramics.

Wall painting, Fresco, Greek, South Italian, Lucanian

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