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Red-figured neck-amphora (jar), attributed to the Libation Painter

 

Height: 54.200 cm

Bequeathed by Sir William Temple

GR 1856.12-26.12 (Vases F 197)

Room 73: Greeks in Italy

    Red-figured neck-amphora (jar), attributed to the Libation Painter

    Greek, about 350-325 BC
    Made in Campania, Italy; from Sant'Agata de' Goti, Campania, Italy

    A warrior departs

    The elongated shape of this vase is characteristic of amphorae from Campania at this time. The Libation Painter is named from his fondness for scenes in which a woman and man are engaged in pouring a libation, an offering made to the gods to secure the warrior's safety and success. This might be the significance of the scene here, but the fact that the woman holds a deep drinking cup rather than the type of shallow bowl generally used for libations suggests that she is, rather, offering the warrior a drink

    The warrior's equipment includes a breastplate made up of three joined circles, a broad belt and a helmet with three plumes; the yellow over-painting suggests these items are supposed to be made of bronze. Such armour is typical of the native Italic Oscan or Samnite people, who lived alongside the Greek settlers in Campania; actual examples of a similar breastplate, belts and helmets may be seen in The British Museum.

    A.D. Trendall, Red figure vases of South Ital (New York, Thames and Hudson, 1989)

    D. Williams, Greek vases (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

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    On display: Room 73: Greeks in Italy

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