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stamnos

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1866,0805.2

  • Description

    Pottery: red-figured stamnos.
    (a) Theseus killing the Minotaur. Theseus, a full-grown ephebos with hair on cheek, long hair looped up behind, with the ends falling over a fillet, and short tied chiton, with sword in right hand, has passed his left arm round the neck of the Minotaur and grasps its muzzle in his left hand, pulling its head round en face. He steps forward to right with his left foot on the right shin of his opponent. The Minotaur, fleeing to right, has fallen backwards on to his right knee; with his right he brandishes a stone, with his left he clutches at the left shoulder of Theseus; blood flows from wounds in the abdomen, chest and each shoulder. He has a long bull's tail. In the field hang on left, the scabbard, on right, the petasos (archaic form) of Theseus: beside him on the right KAΛΟΣ, καλός.
    (b) Theseus killing Procrustes. The background of the scene is occupied by a rock, sloping upwards to the right. Beside this, Procrustes, a rough bearded figure, has fallen on both knees to the right and looks round in three-quarter face, with his right extended in supplication towards his opponent, and with his left trying to loosen the other's grasp. Theseus (as in a), striding forward with his left on the rocky slope, has grasped Procrustes by the back hair, and in his right swings back the double axe to deal him a stroke. On the right hangs his pilos.
    Severe style. Purple fillets, blood, sword-belt, and inscriptions. Brown inner markings, hair on cheek of Theseus and upper folds of his chiton, and shading of the rock in a. The beard of Procrustes is indicated by a wash and straight strokes of thinned black; the hair on the forehead of the Minotaur, by a series of black dots on a hatching of fine strokes in thinned black. The outline of the hair is incised. Eye of Theseus in a in transition type (pupil against inner angle): in b the pupil is a dotted circle in thinned black. Below each side and round the lip, egg pattern; round the shoulder, tongue.

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  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 490BC-480BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 31 centimetres
    • Width: 34 centimetres
    • Weight: 2.5 kilograms
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    In Ann. dell’ Inst. 1836, p. 314, note 1, a ‘Stamnos Vulcente’ is mentioned as having on one side Theseus and the Minotaur, on the other Theseus and Skiron. It is quite possible that Skiron may be a mistake for Procrustes and that this is the Vase referred to. No other stamnos with Theseus subjects is mentioned in the lists of Milani, Müller, or Wulff.

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  • Bibliography

    • Vase E441 bibliographic details
    • CVA British Museum 3 III Ic Pl. 20, 2 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G15/dc1

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Theseus kills the Minotaur
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1866

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1866,0805.2

Pottery: red-figured stamnos.  (a) Theseus killing the Minotaur. Theseus, a full-grown ephebos with hair on cheek, long hair looped up behind, with the ends falling over a fillet, and short tied chiton, with sword in right hand, has passed his left arm round the neck of the Minotaur and grasps its muzzle in his left hand, pulling its head round en face. He steps forward to right with his left foot on the right shin of his opponent. The Minotaur, fleeing to right, has fallen backwards on to his right knee; with his right he brandishes a stone, with his left he clutches at the left shoulder of Theseus; blood flows from wounds in the abdomen, chest and each shoulder. He has a long bull's tail. In the field hang on left, the scabbard, on right, the petasos (archaic form) of Theseus: beside him on the right KA??S, ?a???.  (b) Theseus killing Procrustes. The background of the scene is occupied by a rock, sloping upwards to the right. Beside this, Procrustes, a rough bearded figure, has fallen on both knees to the right and looks round in three-quarter face, with his right extended in supplication towards his opponent, and with his left trying to loosen the other's grasp. Theseus (as in a), striding forward with his left on the rocky slope, has grasped Procrustes by the back hair, and in his right swings back the double axe to deal him a stroke. On the right hangs his pilos.  Severe style. Purple fillets, blood, sword-belt, and inscriptions. Brown inner markings, hair on cheek of Theseus and upper folds of his chiton, and shading of the rock in a. The beard of Procrustes is indicated by a wash and straight strokes of thinned black; the hair on the forehead of the Minotaur, by a series of black dots on a hatching of fine strokes in thinned black. The outline of the hair is incised. Eye of Theseus in a in transition type (pupil against inner angle): in b the pupil is a dotted circle in thinned black. Below each side and round the lip, egg pattern; round the shoulder, tongue.

Pottery: red-figured stamnos. (a) Theseus killing the Minotaur. Theseus, a full-grown ephebos with hair on cheek, long hair looped up behind, with the ends falling over a fillet, and short tied chiton, with sword in right hand, has passed his left arm round the neck of the Minotaur and grasps its muzzle in his left hand, pulling its head round en face. He steps forward to right with his left foot on the right shin of his opponent. The Minotaur, fleeing to right, has fallen backwards on to his right knee; with his right he brandishes a stone, with his left he clutches at the left shoulder of Theseus; blood flows from wounds in the abdomen, chest and each shoulder. He has a long bull's tail. In the field hang on left, the scabbard, on right, the petasos (archaic form) of Theseus: beside him on the right KA??S, ?a???. (b) Theseus killing Procrustes. The background of the scene is occupied by a rock, sloping upwards to the right. Beside this, Procrustes, a rough bearded figure, has fallen on both knees to the right and looks round in three-quarter face, with his right extended in supplication towards his opponent, and with his left trying to loosen the other's grasp. Theseus (as in a), striding forward with his left on the rocky slope, has grasped Procrustes by the back hair, and in his right swings back the double axe to deal him a stroke. On the right hangs his pilos. Severe style. Purple fillets, blood, sword-belt, and inscriptions. Brown inner markings, hair on cheek of Theseus and upper folds of his chiton, and shading of the rock in a. The beard of Procrustes is indicated by a wash and straight strokes of thinned black; the hair on the forehead of the Minotaur, by a series of black dots on a hatching of fine strokes in thinned black. The outline of the hair is incised. Eye of Theseus in a in transition type (pupil against inner angle): in b the pupil is a dotted circle in thinned black. Below each side and round the lip, egg pattern; round the shoulder, tongue.

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Object reference number: GAA6597

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