Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta neck-amphora with twisted handles (jar)

Attributed to the Pilos Head Group
Late Classical
ca. 350–325 B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Campanian
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 10 7/16 in. (26.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Museum Accession
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 161
Obverse, young warrior seated on an altar and bearded warrior. Reverse, youth
On the neck, obverse, head of youth with pilos (pointed cap). Reverse, female head

The protagonist of the main scene has been identified as either Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra, or Neoptolemos, son of Achilles and Deidameia. In one account, both men vied for the hand of Hermione, daughter of Menelaos and Helen, resulting in Orestes' murder of Neoptolemos. The representation poignantly conveys the misfortune visited upon the children of Greece's greatest heroes.
Trendall, Arthur Dale. 1967. The Red-figured Vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily. no. 270, p. 268, pl. 107, 5–6, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Schauenburg, Konrad. 1977. "Die nackte Erinys." Festschrift für Frank Brommer, Ms. Ursula Höckmann and Antje Krug, eds. p. 248 n. 10, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Heuer, Keely Elizabeth. 2015. "Vases with Faces: Isolated Heads in South Italian Vase Painting." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 50: p. 65, fig. 4a, b.

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