Black-glazed drinking vessel with seated hunter

Etruscan, about 300-280 BC
Probably made in southern Etruria (now in Lazio, Italy)

This wide drinking-cup is decorated with the scene of a hunter at rest, seated with his two spears and accompanied by his dog. It may perhaps be Ganymede. This style of decoration, attempting a three-dimensional representation on pottery rather than merely silhouette, was relatively rare in Etruria, and more popular among the western Greeks. This is, however, a fine example. The artist has successfully attempted some foreshortening of the figure to give perspective, and uses shading and highlight. The technique is known by an Italian term, sovradipinto ('overpainted'), referring to the overlaying of various layers of paint.

This cup can probably be taken as evidence for the influence of immigrant Greek potters and painters, though it may have been imported through trade with merchants from the Greek world.

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More information


M. Robertson, History of Greek art (Cambridge University Press, 1975)

E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

J.D. Beazley, Etruscan vase-painting (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1947)


Diameter: 7.000 inches
Height: 2.000 inches

Museum number

GR 1855.3-6.16 (Vases F 542)


Gift of Chambers Hall


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