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Etruscan black-figure neck-amphora

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posted on 2022-10-03, 07:06 authored by Centre for Ancient Cultures MuseumCentre for Ancient Cultures Museum

Ceramic black-figure storage-jar (neck-amphora) on red background. The rim is flat on top and is in the unglazed red of the body of the vessel with the two vertical handles also unglazed on their undersides. It stands on a disc base. On the body of the vase, two athletes facing and moving towards each other behind a big black amphora that stands between them. Large ivy leaves sprout from the ground and from the top of the scene. The same scene is represented on both sides of the amphora with incision in the glaze to highlight details of body and textiles. A band of vertical strokes lies above the scenes.

Stylistic remarks: The vessel forms part of the group of Etruscan vases attributed to the Micali Painter. Pottery workshop active in the late 6th to early 5th century BCE, which had chosen to represent Greek mythology bringing myth down to earth, giving an interpretation of narrative material and depicting it “almost, but not quite, in the way a Greek artist would have” (Small 2016). Bodies are usually disproportionate characterised by dynamism.

Object number: 127.028.

Date: 515–500 BCE

Parallels: very similar example Minneapolis, Walker Art Center WF 7; compare the style of Florence, Museo Archeologico Nazionale 0900200657; Rome, Musei Vaticani 34604; London, British Museum 1836,0224.132, 1836,0224.159, 1938,0318.1 (attributed to the Micali Painter), 1956,1220.1 (attributed to a follower of the Micali Painter).

References: Dohrn, T., Die schwarzfigurigen etruskischen Vasen aus der zweiten Hdlfte des sechsten Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 1937, pp. 89-128, 151-57; Beazley, J.D. and Magi, F., La raccolta Benedetto Guglielmi nel Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, I: Ceramica, Vatican City, 1939, pp. 77-85; Carlucci, R. O., “An Etruscan Black-Figure Gigantomachy in Minneapolis”, American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 82, no. 4, 1978, pp. 545–49; Spivey, N. J., The Micali Painter and His Followers, Oxford: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1987; “Rome: The Micali Painter (‘Villa Giulia’)”, Burlington Magazine, vol. 130, no. 1023, 1988, p. 480; Laura Ambrosini. “Il pittore di Micali: nota iconografica sulla raffigurazione di due teste isolate”, Archeologia Classica, vol. 50, 1998, pp. 343–361; Osborne, Robin. “Why Did Athenian Pots Appeal to the Etruscans?”, World Archaeology, vol. 33, no. 2, 2001, pp. 277–295; Klinger, S., “Underworld Demons on an Early Fifth Century BCE Etruscan Black-Figure Stamnos from Vulci, Now in Berlin”, Etruscan Studies, vol. 16, no. 1, 2013, pp. 39–74; MacIntosh T. J., “The Etruscan Painted Pottery”, The Etruscan World, Routledge, 2013, pp. 991–1021; Small, J. P., “Etruscan Artists”, A Companion to the Etruscans, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2016, pp. 353–367.

Photo by Steve Morton